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FP2: Maldonado fastest in between rain showers in Germany

  • Published on 20 Jul 2012 16:27
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Pastor Maldonado put Williams at the top of the timesheets in a wet, then not so wet, then wet again Practice Two session on Friday afternoon at Hockenheim, taking advantage of the five-minute spell after an hour or so when conditions were dry enough for the FIA to enable DRS.

The Venezuelan lapped in 1m 27.476s, compared to Nico Rosberg’s 1m 27.564s in the Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel’s 1m 27.902s in the Red Bull, which were both recorded at the same time.

Nobody went out for a long time after the rain fell heavily at the start of the 90-minute session and Williams’ Bruno Senna had done an installation lap, but eventually Jean-Eric Vergne ventured out to lap in 1m 39.843s in his Toro Rosso. Gradually others joined him and as things improved the times kept changing with machine gun rapidity.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg went quickest, then Vettel, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Rosberg, Sauber’s Sergio Perez, Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, Lotus’s Romain Grosjean, Alonso, Grosjean again, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, Perez, Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen, Vettel again, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Grosjean again. You get the picture.

To show how crucial it was to run at the right time, as Maldonado, Rosberg and Vettel set their times Schumacher had slumped to 23rd place while sitting in the pits awaiting fresh rubber. Just as Red Bull put Webber on to slicks with 28 minutes left, it began to rain again, and thereafter nobody improved further.

Instead, first Ricciardo then Schumacher wiped out, although only the German damaged his car after spinning into a tyre wall. They joined Perez, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, Marussia’s Charles Pic, Force India’s Paul di Resta, Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Vettel, Rosberg, Massa, Lotus’s Vitaly Petrov, Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen and Marussia’s Timo Glock on the list of those who had off-track adventures. The best spin of the day award went to Hulkenberg, however, for a double 360 exiting Turn One.

In the end Perez wound up fourth on 1m 28.402s from Grosjean on 1m 28.420s, Hulkenberg on 1m 28.495s, Ricciardo on 1m 28.513s, Button on 1m 28.516s and Webber on 1m 28.877s.

Behind them, Raikkonen was 10th on 1m 29.327s, followed by Vergne on 1m 29.364s, Massa on 1m 29.719s and Kobayashi on 1m 29.785s.

Pic was an excellent 14th for Marussia in 1m 30.090s, and making it a good day for the team Glock was next up on 1m 30.220s. Then came Senna, who had been the first to venture out for an installation lap six minutes in the session, with 1m 30.291s.

Kovalainen was Caterham’s faster runner this time on 1m 30.331s ahead of Di Resta on 1m 30.437s, Hamilton on 1m 30.617s, Alonso on 1m 31.207s, Petrov on 1m 32.241s, HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan on 1m 32.349s and Schumacher on 1m 32.777s. At the back, Pedro de la Rosa recorded 1m 42.566s when conditions were pretty much at their worst, after losing track time earlier with a brake problem. (Formula1.com)

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