Silverstone dried up, after a morning washout, and in the prevailing conditions – cold and overcast – Nico Rosberg showed that the Mercedes W04 is still one of the quickest cars in the field as he took top spot on the timing sheets in the second free practice session of the British Grand Prix weekend.
Although a dry line appeared early on, and eventually the tarmac was dry just about everywhere, it was still tricky out there as Felipe Massa learned the hard way. Once again he did himself, and his team, no favours and compromised his weekend with a crash that required some major repair work.
Rosberg’s top time was set just short of the hour mark, and toppled Sebastian Vettel from top spot at the time. Last year’s winner Mark Webber also went quicker shortly thereafter and thus the order at the top remained Rosberg, Webber and Vettel.
The last half hour teams saw teams doing race simulations and the top times were never threatened again.
Top Briton on home soil was Paul Di Resta in the Force India who ended the session fourth fastest, a tad quicker than countryman Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes who was fifth.
Both Toro Rosso drivers, no doubt inspired by the vacancy that has emerged in the ‘senior’ Red Bull team, were up next with Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne sixth and seventh respectively. The STR8 has evolved into a decent piece of kit as the season has progressed and, notably, both drivers were quicker than the similarly powered Ferrari works team and way up on the beleaguered Saubers.
Adrian Sutil was eighth fastest in the Force India, followed by the Lotus of Romain Grosjean and Fernando Alonso rounding out the top ten in the Ferrari.
Notables out of the top ten were: both McLarens with Jenson Button 11th and Sergio Perez 14th; Kimi Raikkonen was 13th in the Lotus.
About 25 minutes into the session Massa wrecked the front end of his Ferrari as he lost the back end, on what appeared to be cold tyres, coming out of Stowe. He became a passenger as the F138 slithered into the tyre barriers close to the entrance of the pitlane. Early shower for the Brazilian and overtime for the mechanics from Maranello.
Organisers estimated that 80 000 fans turned out to watch the action on the opening day and, although they were frustrated by the morning no-show, they got their money’s worth with teams and drivers making most of the available ninety minutes in FP2. (Apex / FIA)
Subbed by AJN.
British Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 28 June 2013
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:32.547||0.299||26|
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:32.680||0.432||31|
|4||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:32.832||0.584||34|
|8||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:33.313||1.065||34|
|19||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:35.984||3.736|