Pastor Maldonado tops second Friday practice for the German Grand Prix
|By Matt Beer||Friday, July 20th 2012, 13:30 GMT|
Pastor Maldonado emerged fastest from the second Friday practice session for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, as rain showers meant the order was largely decided by who was on track at the right moment.
Heavy rain before the session meant a distinct lack of Formula 1 cars on track at first, bar Bruno Senna doing an installation lap in the Williams that Valtteri Bottas had crashed in the morning.
It was 20 minutes in before Jean-Eric Vergne, Charles Pic and Nico Rosberg came out and got the afternoon underway in earnest. Conditions were steadily improving at this stage, and a quarter of an hour later Rosberg switched from full wets to intermediates on his Mercedes, a move everyone else soon followed.
With the track getting quicker by the moment, the top spot then changed hands constantly after the next 25 minutes before the rain returned, ending the run of relatively quick times. Maldonado put his Williams on top with a 1m27.476s just before then, and that stood as the fastest of the session.
Most drivers came back out after the second shower passed, but found the track too wet to improve their times. There was still time for some incident though, as Michael Schumacher crashed the other Mercedes on the way into the stadium section, prompting a red flag with four minutes left that effectively ended the session.
Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo also hit trouble late on, sliding into the gravel at the Sachs Kurve and getting beached.
Rosberg ended up classified second, ahead of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull, Sergio Perez's Sauber and Romain Grosjean's Lotus.
Everyone managed a reasonable amount of running despite the conditions, with the exception of Pedro de la Rosa, who spent a long time in the garage while HRT worked on his car's brakes, meaning he missed the best of the weather.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m27.476 14 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m27.564s + 0.088 24 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m27.902s + 0.426 24 4. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.402s + 0.926 26 5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m28.420s + 0.944 20 6. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m28.495s + 1.019 22 7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m28.513s + 1.037 23 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m28.516s + 1.040 16 9. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m28.877s + 1.401 21 10. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m29.327s + 1.851 22 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m29.364s + 1.888 26 12. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m29.719s + 2.243 15 13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m29.785s + 2.309 24 14. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m30.090s + 2.614 19 15. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m30.220s + 2.744 16 16. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m30.291s + 2.815 22 17. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m30.331s + 2.855 26 18. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m30.437s + 2.961 14 19. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.617s + 3.141 16 20. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m31.207s + 3.731 20 21. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m32.241s + 4.765 22 22. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m32.349s + 4.873 17 23. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m32.777s + 5.301 18 24. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m42.566s + 15.090 8 All Timing Unofficial