Grosjean tops wet British GP practice


Steady rain put a dampener on practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday with Romain Grosjean lapping fastest for Lotus in clouds of spray as fans huddled in the grandstands and under umbrellas.

Campsites were waterlogged and car parks full of puddles, with traffic jams tailing back for miles on approach roads as organisers put contingency plans into effect to limit the effects of the weather.

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Lotus F1 Team's French driver Romain Grosjean   drives during the first practice session at the Silverstone circuit on July  6, 2012  ahead of the British Formula One Grand Prix.     AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLLotus F1 Formula One driver Romain Grosjean of France goes off course at Becketts Corner during the first practice session of the British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone, central England, July 6, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Helgren (BRITAIN  - Tags: SPORT MOTORSPORT)

Despite the delays and frustration, with many spectators unable to access the circuit in time for the opening session, there was no denying the enthusiasm of those who made it in.

They thronged the circuit in their tens of thousands, the grandstands looking fuller than on race day at some sunnier circuits, while drivers tentatively took to the glistening track.

Marussia's German driver Timo Glock tweeted: “Bit of swimming today only 6 laps in FP1! UK weather is just unreal.”

Grosjean's best lap of 1min56.552 seconds was largely meaningless in a session that made staying on the asphalt a challenge.

Moments after he had completed that lap, the Frenchman found himself tracking across the grass at Becketts.

Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo was second on the timing screens, with a time 0.275 seconds slower, while McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was third.

Hamilton, whose 2008 victory makes him the last British driver to win his home race, completed only six laps in the 90-minute session.

That was more than Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso, who did four installation laps without setting a time.

Red Bull's Mark Webber said: “The conditions are pretty dodgy to say the least.”

Webber did seven laps and was sixth fastest.

“We don't want to do a thousand laps today because the forecast looks pretty dodgy for the weekend and we need these tyres.” -Reuters


1 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - 1min56.552

2 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso - 1:56.827

3 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren - 1:57.174

4 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber - 1:57.664

5 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari - 1:58.119

6 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull - 1:58.463

7 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber - 1:58.483

8 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes - 1:58.493

9 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes - 1:58.942

10 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - 1:59.076

11 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - 1:59.414

12 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham - 1:59.614

13 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams - 1:59.733

14 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham - 1:59.787

15 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - 2:00.125

16 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus - 2:00.253

17 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren - 2:01.834

18 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia - 2:01.835

19 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) Hispania - 2:04.341

20 Dani Clos (Spain) Hispania - 2:05.022

21 Charles Pic (France) Marussia - 2:11.760

22 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari

23 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India

24 Jules Bianchi (France) Force India

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