Practice 2: Alonso fastest as track dries up

Fernando Alonso ended the first day at Hockenheim fastest of all

Fernando Alonso ended the first day at Hockenheim fastest of all

Jul. 23 (Grand Prix 247) Hockenheim dried up in the few hours between the morning free practice and the afternoon session on the opening day of the German Grand Prix weekend.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari. Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday 23 July 2010.

Fernando Alonso and Ferrari will be content with day one in Germany

Early on the circuit was a hive of activity as teams did their utmost to get as much running in dry conditions as possible as the weather forecasters getting it wrong (again) rain did not comedown 40 minutes into the session as they predicted, in fact it stayed dry throughout the 90 minutes with even the sun taking a peak at proceedings.

The weekend, and perhaps even the race, is going to be dictated by the fickle weather, this is Germany afterall where at this time of the year a single day can experience four seasons.

There were clear indicators that Ferrari meant business. With a raft of updates the F10 was being maxed out by its drivers with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa flirting with the top spot on the timing screens throughout the session.

In the end it was Alonso who topped the charts with a time of 1 minute 16.265 seconds with Massa third quickest 0.173 seconds off of his team mate’s pace. The team used the session to evaluate how the soft tyres behave with a high fuel load with an eye on Sunday’s race.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6. Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday 23 July 2010.

Local hero Sebastian Vettel was second fastest on the first day

Splitting the Ferrari’s and only 0.29 seconds adrift of Alonso was local hero Sebastian Vettel. Pre-race and arguable title favourites, Red Bull, were not hanging about with Mark Webber and Vettel mixing it with the Maranello boys throughout the session. Webber was fourth quickest.

Early signs of an almighty tussle for supremacy between the reds and the blues at the Hockenheimring.

Best of the Mercedes powered brigade on home soil was Nico Rosberg who ended up fifth quickest, fractionally faster than Michael Schumacher in sixth place at the end of the session. The seven times F1 World Champion looking decidedly ragged at times and lucky not to collide with Lucas di Grassi.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren. Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday 23 July 2010.

Lewis Hamilton spent most of the session in his pit garage as mechanics repaired his car

Most compromised thanks to his shunt in the morning session was Lewis Hamilton who was forced to sit out most of the session as his crew restored his comprehensively damaged MP4-25. But the team rose to the challenge and with just over 10 minutes left in the session the McLaren took to the track. Hamilton proceeded to dial himself in and by the time the session ended he was seventh quickest!

His team mate, Jenson Button, who appears disgruntled and somewhat psyched out at Hockenheim could only manage 15th best time with 36 laps notched up compared to Hamilton’s 10 laps on the chart.

Robert Kubica was eighth quickest in his Renault, restoring the pecking order in the team after ending slower than his rookie team mate in the morning session. Vitaly Petrov was 12th fastest.

Next up, behind Kubica, in ninth and tenth were Williams pair of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg respectively, the young German fastest of the rookies on his home track.

Kamui Kobayashi was fastest of the Sauber duo ending 11th on the timing screens with Pedro de la Rosa 13th best.

After showing his mettle in wet conditions and topping the timing screens in the first session Adrian Sutil was strangely subdued in the dry conditions, only managing 16th fastest in the afternoon session, with team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi 16th quickest.

Slowest of the established teams were the Toro Rosso pair of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari.

Fastest of the new team drivers was Timo Glock who ended 19th but interestingly was less than a quarter second down on Buemi and just over three seconds down on Alonso’s best time. He was half a second up on team mate Lucas di Grassi was 21st on the timing sheets. Glock is clearly inspired to be racing on home soil.

After sitting out the first session Jarno Trulli was back in the cockpit of his Lotus, posting the 20th best time with Team mate Heikki Kovalainen 22nd best.

At the foot of the timing screens, as has become their custom, were the Hispania Racing duo with Bruno Senna 23rd and a second down on him was new boy Sakon Yamamoto, who interestingly was nearly seven seconds off Alonso’s best!

Practice 2 – 23 July 2010

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:16.265 35
2 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:16.294 0.029 26
3 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:16.438 0.173 37
4 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:16.585 0.320 40
5 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:16.827 0.562 32
6 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:16.971 0.706 20
7 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.004 0.739 10
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:17.009 0.744 37
9 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:17.056 0.791 37
10 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:17.204 0.939 44
11 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:17.336 1.071 44
12 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:17.547 1.282 35
13 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:17.573 1.308 39
14 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:17.701 1.436 38
15 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.739 1.474 36
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:17.871 1.606 33
17 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:18.147 1.882 45
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:19.327 3.062 48
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:19.553 3.288 30
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:20.008 3.743 34
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:20.106 3.841 31
22 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:20.377 4.112 37
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:21.988 5.723 37
24 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:23.066 6.801 37