- British Grand Prix - FP2
Massa fastest at wet SilverstoneLaurence Edmondson at Silverstone July 8, 2011
Rosberg cautious over wet pace
Hamilton clarifies DRS usage
Webber hoping for dry running
Massa credits track conditions
Button frustrated by conditions
Webber tops wet first practice
- British Grand Prix
- FIA Formula One World Championship
Felipe Massa set the fastest time of another wet practice session at Silverstone ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix.
Heavy rain fell just moments before the pit lane opened meaning the track, which had been drying over the lunch break, was wetter than the morning session. In race conditions the circuit would have likely been red flagged and therefore it was no surprise when only four drivers left the comfort and safety of the pit garages.
For over 30 minutes nobody was on the track, leaving the thousands of fans in the grandstands rather underwhelmed. But with the risk of going out in the wet weighed against the limited supply of wet tyres, it simply wasn't worth the teams sending a car out into the unkown. It was only in the final 20 minutes that the championship leaders hit the track and in the final five minutes there was a battle for the top spot.
Massa's time of 1:49.967, set in the best conditions of the whole session, was 0.777 seconds up on Nico Rosberg in second and 1.428 up on Kamui Kobayashi in third, closely followed by Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. The conditions allowed for intermediate tyres towards the end of the session and most drivers managed to stay out of trouble, with just a few small excursions and no big accidents.
By the time the chequered flag fell all the drivers had hit the track at some point in the 90 minute session, but for many it was a brief foray rather than a proper session. Championship leader Sebastain Vettel, who was well down the order in the morning, completed just four laps and all of the top five drivers in the championship had lap counts in single figures.
Drivers were struggling in the wet conditions with Rosberg having a big moment approaching turn one, losing the rear end under braking and reacting brilliantly to catch the car as it tried to snap away from him. Many drivers ran wide at turns one and three as they pushed the limits of grip on the drying track, but none came to grief as Kobayashi had done in FP1.
Michael Schumacher jumped to the top of the timesheets on full wets with a minute to go in the session, but the imrpoving conditions coupled with the large operating window of the intermediates meant he ended the session down in 12th place as first Rosberg and then Massa jumped to the top.
Mark Webber - quickest in the morning session - topped the standings towards the end of the 90 minutes but he too was pushed down to 14th, one position behind Heikki Kovalainen and one ahead of Fernando Alonso. Vettel was even further back in 18th after his single run, but the whole grid will look to make the most of the forecast dry conditions during FP3 tomorrow morning.
Laurence Edmondson is an assistant editor on ESPNF1