Silverstone Practice 1: Ricciardo fastest in the wet as most opt to stay dry

Daniel Ricciardo during the Friday morning practice at Silverstone

Daniel Ricciardo during the Friday morning practice at Silverstone

Rain played havoc with opening practice at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix on Friday with only half of the grid posting a timed lap and most of the leading drivers remaining in their garages.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, eager to show Red Bull bosses what he can do now that there is a declared vacancy at the champions with Mark Webber departing at the end of the year, was top of the timesheets for Toro Rosso after completing 10 laps.

His best time of one minute 54.249 seconds may have been so slow as to be meaningless but the 23-year-old at least gave the long-suffering fans something to watch on a morning short of track action.

The Red Bull, Lotus and McLaren drivers did no more than installation laps. Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen did not bother even with that.

Charles Pic crashed in FP1

Charles Pic crashed in FP1

“Bit scary on the straight,” Red Bull’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who leads Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso by 36 points after seven of 19 races, said over the team radio. “Quite a lot of water on the track.”

“There isn’t much point heading out at the moment,” McLaren’s Jenson Button, who has yet to stand on his home grand prix podium despite being the most experienced driver in the sport, told the BBC.

“I think we need to apologise to the fans but for us it is really wet out there and it is going to be dry at the weekend, so it is more a risk than anything else. We have some new parts and with standing water it is pretty easy to hit the wall and damage those parts.”

Ricciardo was the first to set a time, some 15 minutes before the end of the session, and 10 others followed his example.

Esteban Gutierrez spins during FP1

Esteban Gutierrez spins during FP1

Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was second on the timesheets with Williams’ Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado third and Lewis Hamilton fourth for Mercedes.

Caterham’s French driver Charles Pic provided the only flicker of drama when he skidded off the slippery surface and into the tyre wall at Club corner, smashing the front wing.

The bad weather meant that the hopes of the five British drivers on track in the morning session came to nothing, with Force India abandoning plans to run their simulator tester James Rossiter instead of Germany’s Adrian Sutil.

With no meaningful data to be gained from running, the Silverstone-based team kept their cars in the garage. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

British Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 – Friday, 28 June 2013

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:54.249   10
2 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:55.033 0.784 7
3 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:55.354 1.105 7
4 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:55.458 1.209 5
5 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:55.825 1.576 9
6 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:56.361 2.112 7
7 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:57.891 3.642 4
8 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:58.859 4.610 6
9 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:59.719 5.470 7
10 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:59.876 5.627 8
11 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 2:06.534 12.285 6
12 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes No time   3
13 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes No time   4
14 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault No time   1
15 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes No time   1
16 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes No time   4
17 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari No time   4
18 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault No time   1
19 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes No time   1
20 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault No time   3
21 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault No time   4
22 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault No time   0
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