F1 Silverstone FP2 Results & Report: Massa Quickest In Rain-Slowed Session

What Happens When It’s All Upside-Down

9:42am EST — Felipe Massa (1:49.967) was fastest in the very wet Friday afternoon practice session for the 2011 British Grand Prix in the final lap of the session. Though the session was never red flagged, nearly half of the ninety-minutes session was spent in the garages as rain pelted down and left large standing puddles on the circuit. Nico Rosberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Lewis Hamilton, and Jenson Button completed the fastest five as times came quickly in the final minutes of the session. Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso, who led with five minutes to go and remained in the garage, were fourteenth and fifteenth fastest while Sebastian Vettel was eighteenth fastest.

Webber (1:46.603) topped the first practice session Friday morning in wet and drying conditions, with Schumacher, Barrichello, Perez, and Massa the fastest five. Alonso was seventh fastest, though he led much of the latter stages of the session, with Hamilton eighth, Vettel thirteenth, and Button fifteenth. Daniel Ricciardo was slowest in his debut as a full-time HRT driver, just under two tenths slower than teammate Tonio Liuzzi. Kamui Kobayashi provided the most dramatic moments of the session, losing control over the wet kerbing and Astroturf, launching his Sauber into the air and sliding into the tire barrier. He was unhurt and the session was not stopped, though the Sauber mechanics had quite the to job get his car back into race trim.

Just minutes before the second ninety-minute session began, what had been a somewhat drying circuit became wet again as rain began falling heavily. There was no rush for drivers to begin running, though Glock was the first driver out, a few minutes into the session. He returned to the garage after a single installation lap.

Alguersuari was the next to attempt a lap, having a twitchy time of it on his way around, though Buemi soon joined him. Ten minutes into the session, only Glock and Buemi had set two installation laps, while Alguersuari had two. Mike Gascoyne helpfully tweeted, “Forecast saying steady rain for the next 20mins. track is dangerous now,” adding later, “Also looks like more rain to follow afterwards on the radar.” Fifteen minutes into the session, Kobayashi was out for his installation lap, even after his heavy shunt in the morning session.

After a half hour, no one was back onto the track. Only Glock, Alguersuari, Buemi, and Kobayashi had done any installation laps and the conditions were too wet to learn anything beyond that already learned in the first session. Ferrari neatly explained part of the problem, “Just four driver attempted to run with these conditions. The main reason is that every driver has a total of 8 sets of wet tyres for GP,” continuing, “Five sets of intermediate tyres (one must be returned today) and three full wet tyres,” and concluding, “So, with the current weather forecast, it is better to save wet tyres as much as possible.”

Nothing had changed at the halfway point, though the sun appeared to be shining through some of the rain. The wind had also picked up at points on the circuit, which would dry the track more quickly. A few minutes later, Alguersuari was back out. Sutil joined him. Soon, Buem, Perez, and Kobayashi were out as well, with the first time from Alguersuari at a 2:04.096. Sutil’s time was precisely one second slower, but Buemi (202.354) soon bettered both. The times continued to drop and shift about, despite the sopping wet track surface. However, more drivers were on their way to running, including Rosberg and Maldonado. The former had a hairy moment when his Mercedes began to aquaplane and twitched end-to-end multiple times. He caught and held the car, continuing safely on.

More drivers were heading out to run when only a third of the sesison remained. Alguersuari (1:55.399) led Buemi, Sutil, Kobayashi, Schumacher, Rosberg, Perez, and Maldonado as the eight drivers who had then set a time. Schumacher soon slotted into fourth, then took the fastest lap time by two thousandths, only to have Alguersuari claim it back by more than a second. Even five minutes later, neither Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, nor Renault drivers had yet set times.

Soon, Sutil was fastest, over Buemi, Alguersuari, Maldonado, and Schumacher, with twenty minutes remaining. Buemi was quickly back on top as Webber and Alonso joined the fray. The Australian’s first lap put him fourth fastest, then to the top. However, he only beat out Buemi’s time by eighth hundredths. Schumacher, however, was on a flying lap with fifteen minutes left int the session and the track drying somewhat, completing the fastest lap of the session (1:53.024). He was a half second faster than Webber, who returned the favor on his next lap. On his first really quick lap, Alonso moved up to sixth. With twelve minutes left, only Hamilton and Liuzzi had yet to post an installation lap.

Only Button, Hamilton, and Liuzzi had not set a time with ten minutes to go, though at least Button had posted an installation lap. Webber (1:52.587) led Alonso, Schumacher, Buemi, Sutil, Alguersuari, Vettel, Barrichello, Maldonado, and di Resta as the fastest ten. Massa was eighteenth fastest, only to jump up to ninth on his next lap. Hamilton was out just after the ten minute mark, attempting to hold the wiggly McLaren under control in the wet. He had an off-track excursion through Maggots and Becketts, keeping it on the tarmac runoff and out of the gravel.

Massa, after a fastest of all first sector, went fourth fastest. Vettel ended his session early, with a little over five minutes remaining by simply getting out of the Red Bull, seventh fastest. Webber was also out of his car in the fastest position, only to have Schumacher (1:52.325) best his time in the final minute of the session. Another German, Sutil, was the next on top of the timesheets, with Rosberg taking the positions on his own fast lap. Hamilton slid into second, only to lose out to a charging Kobayashi. Massa, though, was on a flyer to take nearly eight tenths off Rosberg’s time.

Final Times for FP2, 2011 British Grand Prix:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:49.967 9
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:50. 744 +0.777 16
3. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:51. 395 +1.428 16
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:51. 438 +1.471 6
5. Jenson Button McLaren 1:51. 518 +1.551 6
6. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:51. 738 +1.771 18
7. Paul di Resta Force India 1:51. 781 +1.814 7
8. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:51. 992 +2.025 13
9. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:52.169 +2.202 12
10. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:52.189 +2.222 21
11. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:52.198 +2.231 9
12. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:52.325 +2.358 12
13. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:52.578 +2.611 16
14. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:52.587 +2.620 6
15. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:52.869 +2.902 8
16. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:54.023 +2.056 8
17. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:54.274 +4.307 16
18. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:54.545 +4.578 4
19. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin Racing 1:54.714 +4.747 13
20. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:55.155 +4.188 8
21. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1:55.155 +5.188 12
22. Timo Glock Virgin Racing 1:55.549 +5.582 10
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1:55.828 +5.861 10
24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT 1:56.037 +6.070 6

1 Comment

  1. Nice one, Massa! Too bad Red Bull is hiding their performance

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