F1 2012 German Grand Prix: McLaren pair quickest in first practice at Hockenheim
PUBLISHED: 11:02 20 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:06 20 July 2012
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was second quickest in a stop-start first practice session for the 2012 German Grand Prix at a cool and grey Hockenheim.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes star from Hertfordshire clocked a best lap time of 1m 17.093s around the famous Hockenheimring circuit in Germany as rain restricted running.
Team-mate Jenson Button was fastest in P1 after clocking a 1m 16.595s on his first run, with F1 world championship leader Fernando Alonso third on the timesheets for Ferrari. Michael Schumacher was fourth for Mercedes GP.
McLaren rolled out a series of upgrades on the cars of Hamilton and Button today, with revised sidepods and new brake ducts.
The new sidepods are the most visual change to the McLaren MP4-27 bodywork.
Car 4: Lewis Hamilton
* Age: 27 (January 7, 1985)
* GPs: 99
* Wins: 18
* Poles: 21
* Fastest Laps: 11
* 2012 points: 92 (4th)
However, this morning’s opening free practice session was hit by spells of rain, which curbed track time.
Hamilton’s best lap on his first timed run was a 1m 21.980s – but the track was hit by a shower during his running.
Later, with the session finally getting busier and the track almost fully reverted back to full-dry status, times started dropping.
However, the McLaren pitwall told Hamilton: “Lewis, there is potentially another shower in range – so I think we should get out. Once the shower’s passed we can resume properly.”
McLaren at the German Grand Prix
* Wins: 8 (1976, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2008, 2011)
* Poles: 12 (1976, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008)
* Fastest Laps: 7 (1984, 1985, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005)
Once it had stopped raining in the pitlane, Lewis went out on Inters. The pitwall asked him: “Okay Lewis, how are the track conditions.”
The reply was: “It’s drier – there’s a dry line.”
Button was then told: “It’s too dry for the Inter tyre.”
As a result, both McLaren men took to the track on the dry Pirelli tyre and Herts-born Hamilton, 27, soon set a 1m 17.093s to nudge up to Jenson’s fastest overall time.
The 2012 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim
* Race distance: 67 laps (190.414 miles/306.458km)
* Start time: 14:00 (local)/13:00 GMT
* Circuit length: 2.842 miles/4.574km
* 2010 winner: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 67 laps in 1hr27m38.864s (209.788km/h)
* 2010 pole: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 1m13.791s (223.149km/h)
* Lap record: Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren Mercedes MP4-19) 1m13.780s (223.182km/h)
McLaren has scored seven wins and 12 pole positions in the German Grand Prix.
After a couple of poor results, the British team would like to add to that tally in qualifying on Saturday and on race day on Sunday, with the grand prix Hamilton’s 100th for McLaren.