British Grand Prix practice as it happened

Lewis Hamilton tops a rain-hit practice for the British Grand Prix, with Jenson Button sixth and Paul di Resta 11th.

6 July 2012 Last updated at 19:34

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As it happened

  1. 1605:  

    Now I'm off to watch Andy Murray take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Wimbledon semi-finals. What a Sunday we could have if Murray makes the final and Hamilton or Button start the British Grand Prix on pole, eh? Thanks for your company and contributions - you've been awesome. Rest well and I'll see you all tomorrow morning. Until then, I bid you farewell. See ya.


    James Liddard on Twitter: "Well done Lewis for being fastest but we all know Friday times have no relevance to race pace. Pls repeat on Sunday!"

  3. 1600:  

    Here's hoping we get a bit more action when things get going on Saturday with third and final practice beginning at 10:00 BST, with qualifying starting at 13:00. I'll be back at 09:00 to start the build up.

  4. 1555:  

    There might not have been much track action, but the fans will still be delighted to see Lewis Hamilton top the times in his McLaren. Here's Andrew Benson's practice report with all the details.

  5. 1550:  

    I also had a chat to 1992 British world champion Nigel Mansell who won the British Grand Prix four times and enjoyed something of a love affair with Silverstone and the fans. "The British Grand Prix meant everything to me," said Mansell. "Silverstone is one of best, if not the best, circuits in the world. The fans are the most supportive and educated and they just adore it as much as I do. If there was one race a year I wanted to win, it was my home race."


    Silverstone on Twitter: "Due to the weather conditions & the traffic issues there will be delays leaving the circuit, we ask fans to be patient, enjoy the entertainment on main stage and track action."

  7. 1545:  

    With it being British Grand Prix weekend, we've got plenty of features to tickle your fancy.

    BBC F1 chief writer Andrew Benson looks at Mark Webber's which could see him move to Ferrari.

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari takes a closer look at the Silverstone circuit.

    I speak to Paul di Resta about stepping out of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button's shadows.


    BBC Sport's Jake Humphrey "Well played F1 fans. The drivers gave us plenty of entertainment, if not enough laps. Here's hoping the weekend proves to be memorable."

  9. 1540:  

    And here's 13-24:

    13) Vettel 14) Vergne 15) Massa 16) Glock 17) Senna 18) Petrov 19) Pic 20) Karthikeyan 21) Grosjean 22) Ricciardo 23) Webber 24) De la Rosa

  10. 1538:  

    Here's how they finished 1-12:

    1) Hamilton 2) Kobayashi 3) Schumacher 4) Rosberg 5) Perez 6) Button 7) Kovalainen 8) Raikkonen 9) Hulkenberg 10) Alonso 11) Di Resta 12) Maldonado

  11. 1536:  

    So a rather frustrating day for drivers and fans alike really. Lewis Hamilton was quickest on the wet tyres as the conditions weren't quite right for the inters which Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen were trying on for size.


    Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery: "There's no decision on tyre supply yet. The conditions were very difficult so it is that balance between tactics and not wanting to cause an issue. We will have a chat with the FIA and see what we can do."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "We have learned very little today in truth. It was very difficult conditions for everybody. The times were all done on the wet tyres but it is supposed to rain on Sunday so a bit of homework done there."

  14. 1532:  

    Replays show Fernando Alonso tapped the barriers, losing the rear end on the exit of Stowe which spins the car round onto the grass. The Spaniard looks to have controlled it, but the car hits a puddle and spins again. The Ferrari hits the barriers, breaking the front wing off, but the Alonso keeps the engine running and he's able to recover to the pits.

  15. 1530:  


  16. 1529:  

    Fernando Alonso makes quite a big excursion off track, but soon decides he prefers the race track and navigates his way back without hitting anything.

  17. 1528:  

    We've still not see any timed laps from Romain Grosjean, Daniel Ricciardo and Mark Webber while Pedro de la Rosa hasn't even left the garage in this session.


    Andy Dinan on twitter: "Looking at the pictures of ‪#silverstone‬, you would think they part of the WRC - Kimi Raikkonen should be ok!!"

  19. 1525:  

    Bit of silliness out on track with Sebastian Vettel cutting right across one of the Marussias. Frustrated, the Marussia hugs the back of the Red Bull and then repasses him down the inside at the next corner. Not really necessary in these kind of conditions.

  20. 1523:  

    Championship leader Fernando Alonso goes 13th quickest on the intermediate tyre. Sebastian Vettel sets a personal best in the first sector on the same tyre, but makes a mistake and backs off ready for another shot.

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow

    "Force India's Paul di Resta had problems with his steering in the morning session and now Nico Hulkenberg is having problems with his steering. They are about to bring him in and we will see what is going on, but it doesn't sound brilliant for them."

  22. 1521:  

    Sergio Perez goes fourth quickest, one second off the pace with Jenson Button slotting into sixth, a further half second behind.

  23. 1520:  

    The next lap around, Lewis Hamilton overcooks it and takes to the run-off - but he survives to fight another day.

  24. 1518:  

    Lewis Hamilton goes purple - fastest of all - in all three sectors to dip into the low 1m56s and top the timesheets, one tenth quicker than Kamui Kobayashi.


    Mike, via text: "Why can't the tyres be mixed like in Moto GP. Soft front and hard rear or the other way round."

  26. 1515:  

    With 15 minutes remaining, we've finally got a busy track. Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg have both improved to go second and third respectively, with Lewis Hamilton having a massive sideways moment before collecting it and setting the fourth fastest time.

  27. 1513:  

    Kamui Kobayashi is into the 1m57s, the first man to do so, to extend his lead at the top of the timesheets. But BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari reckons the track will dry out enough for inters soon which means the times will start to tumble.


    Jason Murtagh on Twitter: "Good on Bruno Senna stamping the mud off his race boots before getting into the safety car. Bad luck going off though!"

  29. 1507:  
    Interactive Video Player (IVP)

    Slightly different video set-up this weekend, folks. We're using the new BBC interactive video player (IVP), which is a very exciting new way of streaming sport. One of the best new features is live rewind: you can view second practice live, but at any point just pull the bar at the bottom of the screen to the left and go back to any point which you may have missed, or any piece of action you might want to see again. During qualifying and the race you'll be able to get all your usual Pit Lane, On Board and Driver Tracker views, plus the full-screen function is high-definition, so it looks great on your desktop or laptop. Get involved in second practice now. Or read more about IVP here.


    BBC's Jake Humphrey on Twitter: "Poor old Bruna Senna has had a hefty 'off' so they've red flagged the session. It is drier out there at the moment so hopefully start again soon."

  31. 1505:  

    Bruno Senna hops into a support vehicle and heads back to the pits to face his team. Meanwhile, the marshals hook the stricken Williams onto a crane before lowering it behind the barriers and out of harms way.

  32. 1504:  

    The session has been red flagged while they clean up the mess...

  33. 1503:  

    The conditions have caught the Brazilian out there. As he gets on the power coming into Hangar Straight, the back end of the car steps out and Senna is a passenger as the car spins across the grass and into the barriers. He's done a lot of damage to the front left corner of that car.

  34. 1501:  

    Bruno Senna has smashed his Williams into the barriers.

  35. 1500:  

    Kamui Kobayashi is the fastest man on the track, clocking 1:58.894, 0.195 seconds ahead of Sauber team-mate Sergio Perez.

  36. 1457:  

    Plenty of action out on track now with Kobayashi, Perez, Petrov, Hulkenberg, Senna, Massa, Kovalainen, Vettel, Maldoando, Grosjean, Rosberg, Schumacher, Button and Di Resta all out on track.

  37. 1455:  

    Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has said that they have spoken to the local factory and it would be possible to bring more wet tyres to Silverstone if required. It will be interesting to see how talks progress on that subject matter this evening.

  38. 1452:  

    Fernando Alonso has headed out on the intermediate tyre - the rubber with green markings - while his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa tries out the full wets. Neither completes the lap, though - instead choosing to head back to the pits.

  39. 1448:  

    Kamui Kobayashi goes quickest of all with a 2:04.198, six seconds quicker than anyone else has managed in this session - though considering it was raining earlier that's no real surprise.


    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg: "There is just a bit too much water out there but there might be some more running now because the rain has stopped. It is important to run and practice because these are the conditions forecast for the race."


    Matthew Cheshire on Twitter: "Re Andrew Benson's earlier entry. Alonso for the win. Those six hours of swimming were ideal preparation. Shouldn't have bothered with the running though!"

  42. 1444:  

    And as I say that, out goes Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber. You can always count on the Japanese driver to get out and put on a show.

  43. 1443:  

    The rain has stopped!


    Lisa on Twitter: "Used to go to Silverstone every year. Whenever we camped it always rained. Having a sly watch at work this time round."

  45. 1442:  

    We're hearing Sergio Perez is heading back to the garage to prepare to go back out on track which is good news for us and the fans at the circuit. Let's hope others follow suit.


    More from Lewis Hamilton: "I would like some more tyres personally, more so for the fans as there are so many today and it is boring for them to just sit there. They have paid a lot of money to be here so we should be putting on a show for them. It is constructive criticism, maybe we can do a little more on days like this."


    McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton: "I feel sorry for the fans out there because so many turned up but we have to save all the tyres we have as we don't have spare tyres to waste."

  48. 1437:  

    Lewis Hamilton tells Jennie Gow that he's out in the pit-lane having a snoop at rival cars to see what they're doing so he can tell his team what bits he'd like to see on his McLaren. "I'm always doing research," he said.


    Ed Middleton on Twitter: "In the grandstand at Becketts trying to stay dry. Hoping to see some action this session."


    McLaren test and reserve driver Gary Paffett: "We would like to get onto the intermediates and do some running on them but it is quite easy to make a small mistake or hit a puddle and you can end up doing some aquaplaning, so it is a risk to go out in these conditions."

  51. 1433:  

    Bored with the confines of his garage, Lewis Hamilton has picked up one of the team's golfing umbrellas and head out for a stroll down the pit-lane. That'll give the fans something to cheer about.


    Craig Benson on Twitter: "Snazzy wellies and pac-a-macs are the order of the day at Silverstone by the looks of it."

  53. 1430:  

    Here's a bit of good news - the teams' weather radar predicts the rain will stop around 14:50. Once it stops and the track starts to dry, drivers can head out on the intermediate tyres to get some useful data.


    Ronnie Palmer on Twitter: "I fear for the Silverstone crowd. We are into Cliff Richard territory."

    I hope not, because no one wants that.

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari

    "I think a British winner would be great for this weekend but anything can happen in the wet and especially with Formula 1 being so close this season, so it is difficult to say who could win."

  56. 1425:  

    Lewis Hamilton is tapping away on his iPhone at the back of his garage trying to pass the time while Sergio Perez is struggling to stay awake while perched on the pit-wall. The track remains empty.


    McLaren on Twitter: "A close-up of the Maria de Villota stars on @jensonbutton's crash helmet. We all have Maria in our hearts this weekend."

  58. 1420:  

    I'm feeling pretty sorry for the fans out there who soaked to the core. Just seen a shot of one lad in a T-shirt and wearing sunglasses - not sure what he's playing at.


    Sam Hall on Twitter: "Could we not have a roof over Silverstone like the one at Wimbledon? Seems to work there."

  60. 1417:  

    Michael Schumacher is sat cross-legged at the back of the garage chatting to his engineers while his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg gazes at the data screens with his hands on his hips.

  61. 1414:  

    Timo Glock has decided he's had enough of the conditions and pulled his Marussia into the pits leaving the track empty.


    McLaren test and reserve driver Gary Paffett: "We did some set up work in the week but it was quite limited considering the weather always planned to be wet. The rain seems to have eased up a little bit for this session but it is quite difficult with the standing water, there will not be too many guys keen to go out really."

  63. 1411:  

    Brazilian Bruno Senna clocks 2:10.215 in his Williams before telling his team there's no point doing laps in these conditions. Oh dear, that's not what the fans in the grandstand want to hear.


    Marussia on Twitter: "A damp start to day one at Silverstone. Charles started with some engine calibration work with the new exhausts & Timo focused on wet set-up."

  65. 1407:  

    Timo Glock sets a timed lap nice and early. It's a 2:11.964 for the Marussia driver which is about 40 seconds off the dry-weather pace. Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso are out there, but they pull in after an installation lap.


    Force India technical director Andy Green on the lack of mileage completed in FP1: "It is down to the conditions and the amount of tyres we have unfortunately. We only have three sets of extreme wets to last the whole weekend so unfortunately we have to save them for when we need them. We will do a few extra laps but we will keep it to an absolute minimum. There was quite a lot of time [in FP1] when the tyres were not touching the tarmac, so I think the drivers were quite happy to sit it out."

  67. 1402:  

    Lewis Hamilton doesn't look too keen to get out, though. He's busy adding a decal of a red star to his helmet in tribute to Marussia test driver Maria de Villota who was injured in the straight-line testing accident which happened this week.

  68. 1400:  
    GO! GO! GO!

    And we're away for second free practice...

  69. 1355:  

    I had a chat to Paul di Resta in the Force India motorhome yesterday ahead of his second British Grand Prix in a Formula 1 car. The Scot qualified an impressive sixth last year, outqualifying both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button and has already scored the same number of points after eight races as he achieved in the whole of last season. "I've definitely been more successful than last year," said Di Resta. "But I'd like to be greedy. I want more and I'm pushing with the team to achieve the best that I can."


    Silverstone on Twitter: "To all who are stuck in traffic, we are trying our best to get everyone on site. A major problem is a traffic going to the campsites, all are full so if you have not prebooked please DO NOT attempt to come to Silverstone. Those that are here we are doing our best to relocate you. We are doing all we can to get you in and parked up asap. We are sincerely sorry to all of those stuck in the traffic."


    Becky Reid on Twitter: "Dilemmas! Got #bbcf1 on one window and #bbctennis on other! Thank god it's not raining at my desk!"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Fernando Alonso may have done no timed laps in first practice but the Ferrari driver says the British Grand Prix, which he won last year, is one of his favourite races. 'Racing here is special, rain or no rain,' he said in an interview to be broadcast on BBC One in the build-up to the race on Sunday. 'Silverstone is always full because people love F1 in this country. Even if you are not the favourite driver because there is Hamilton, Button, Di Resta and it's normal they cheer for them, we enjoy racing here because we are in front of people who understand and respect your job. This is not normal. In other races, it is more like football fans - they don't understand things like strategy, pit stops.'"

  73. 1348:  

    Three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart made an appearance in the paddock on Thursday, and he came bearing gifts of the edible variety. The former BRM and Tyrrell driver, dressed in a smart green jacket with flat cap, was handing out a cake to each of the 12 teams on the grid to celebrate 25 years of the Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust. That's an organisation Stewart set up to initially look after mechanics who may suffer injury when working in the pit-lane but it now provides support to mechanics both past and present.

  74. 1343:  

    I know your fingers are probably freezing, but if you can summon the strength, do send me a tweet to @lawrobarretto using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only) to tell me about your Silverstone experience. For those at home on the sofa or in the office, you're nice and toasty so you have no excuse.


    Lewis, via text: "At this rate we'll be able to hold the Olympic swimming at Silverstone this weekend."

  76. 1339:  

    When asked for his thoughts on British cuisine, Michael Schumacher smiled and said: "My boys invited me for dinner last night and I was pleasantly surprised. We went to a beautiful restaurant and it was good food. It was not directly English, more Italian, but yeah it was good. I didn't know we had such a good restaurant so close to the factory." Charming.

  77. 1334:  

    As usual, Michael Schumacher's media briefing was one of the more popular ones on Thursday with the seven-time world champion still oozing with excitement following his podium in Valencia last time out. "Finally we were able to taste a bit champagne," said Schumacher. "It was a beautiful moment." Looking ahead to Silverstone, one of several home races for Mercedes who are based down the road in Brackley, the 43-year-old added: "I would welcome a bit of rain for the race." Well it looks as if the German's prayers have been answered.


    Fernando Alonso has posted a picture on Twitter of himself pointing out a star on his helmet dedicated to injured Marussia test driver Maria de Villota. Nice touch Fernando. #TodosConMaría‬

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "The clouds have broken, there is blue sky and the sun is peeping... No, sorry, that's not true. It's still raining here and there is no sign of a let-up. Despite earlier predictions of the rain stopping, it has continued pretty much unabated since the end of first practice. Team personnel are rushing backwards and forwards in their raincoats, team bosses and drivers are sheltering in the motorhomes. Fernando Alonso was looking especially glum when I popped up to the top floor of the Ferrari motorhome. But second practice is almost upon us and with the weather looking wet for the weekend, even Alonso, who did not set a timed lap in P1, will surely have to venture out seriously this afternoon."

  80. 1329:  

    I'm sad to say fans are still having problems trying to get into the circuit. It's absolute carnage on the A43 leading up to the circuit, but it is moving so fingers crossed they can get in, park up and get trackside to see some action.

  81. 1324:  

    Pastor Maldonado was in bullish mood in the paddock on Thursday. The Venezuelan made yet another trip to the stewards office after colliding with Lewis Hamilton in Valencia, picking up his fifth penalty of the season - one short of the record Hamilton achieved last year. "For sure, I will drive in the same way," said Maldonado. "I think I have been quite unlucky the last couple of races. I saw the chance to take the position against Lewis and he tried to defend and I tried to attack and it was normal racing contact I think."

  82. 1320:  

    Second practice - which lasts 90 minutes - kicks off at 14:00 BST, with action on the BBC Red Button and this very website from 13:55.

  83. 1318:  

    Romain Grosjean was fastest in morning practice, but the track was so wet, the times are pretty meaningless. The bad news is it's still raining, but that doesn't appear to have dampened the enthusiasm of the fans in the grandstand overlooking the pits who are waving their flags and blowing their air horns as a few Formula 1 cars from days gone by parade around the track.

  84. 1315:  

    Hello, I'm back. Hope those of you at the track used the break to try and dry off...

  85. 1145:  

    I'm off for a quick break, but will be back at 13:15 BST to start building up to second practice (14:00). In the meantime, here's Andrew Benson's FP1 report plus a story on why Jenson Button thinks he can still win the title despite sitting 62 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso. See you soon.


    Marussia driver Timo Glock on Twitter: "Bit of swimming today only 6 laps in FP1! Uk weather is just unreal."

  87. 1140:  

    I think Ferrari put it best when they tweeted: "Not really too much to say this morning..." Fingers crossed conditions improve enough so the teams can run the intermediate tyre in second practice. At least that way, we should get a bit more action.


    Steve Pye on Twitter: "The rain at Silverstone and the forecast makes me feel nostalgic about Ayrton Senna and some of his great wet weather drives."

  89. 1137:  

    And here's 13-24:

    13) Bottas 14) Kovalainen 15) Maldonado 16) Raikkonen 17) Button 18) Glock 19) De la Rosa 20) Clos 21) Pic 22) Alonso* 23) Di Resta* 24) Bianchi*

    *Did not set a time

  90. 1135:  

    Here's how they finished 1-12:

    1) Grosjean 2) Ricciardo 3) Hamilton 4) Perez 5) Massa 6) Webber 7) Kobayashi 8) Schumacher 9) Rosberg 10) Vergne 11) Vettel 12) Petrov

  91. 1132:  

    A fairly low key session, then with Sauber clocking up the laps in the wet but most of the frontrunners prefering to stay dry in their garages.

  92. 1130:  



    McLaren on Twitter: "Because the regulations don't permit you to dyno test the engine. We needed to evaluate it at the circuit."


    Ferrari on Twitter: "Fernando is coming in while Felipe is going out to carry on the same start programme."

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari

    On Maria de Villota's recovery following the Marussia F1 test driver's accident earlier this week: "The situation is sad for everyone. No-one knows exactly how the accident happened. It is very difficult to say what happened and explain but the main thing we should focus on is that Maria gets better. I think she can make it and we shall see. She has had two operations and I think she has another tomorrow. Hopefully she recovers well and I think we will have more news about her recovery and future in four or five days."

  96. 1125:  

    Race control announce that Kamui Kobayashi will be investigated after the session for making a late decision to enter the pits and subsequently cutting across the grass at the pit lane entry.

  97. 1123:  

    Fernando Alonso pits and then heads straight back out again. He's just coasting around but at least the fans get to see him in action.


    Sauber on Twitter: "Due to the wet track there is not much to learn about the new parts we brought to #Silverstone. But still running is important, we go again."

  99. 1120:  

    Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi and Michael Schumacher are the only drivers out on track at the moment but no one is challenging the pace set by Romain Grosjean earlier in the session...

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel caused a bit of a stir after the last race in Valencia when he was quoted in the German media saying that the safety car had been introduced mid-grand prix to stop him dominating. He has denied that here: 'I never said it [the safety car] was deliberate. I said from my point of view it was not necessary. But I'm not making the decisions. The race direction is making that decision; they decide when it comes out. If they consider it to be necessary, we accept it. I'm not saying the decision is right or wrong. In my opinion we could have continued racing without [the safety car]. But I had less overview at that moment than the race direction.'"


    Ferrari on Twitter: "Fernando's engine is on: at least we can do some practice start..."


    BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson on Twitter: "Drier phase expected around noon but heavy showery rain likely again into early afternoon could well affect FP2."


    Paul-Joseph Martin on Twitter: "Kimi & Schumacher to be on the podium if its a wet weekend at the British GP."

  104. 1114:  

    Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi is out there again, exploring the limits of the track and trying out different lines - that could come in handy on Sunday if the predicted heavy rain does indeed fall.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "While it's well known within F1 just how fit grand prix drivers need to be casual viewers might not be so aware. The answer is - incredibly; right up there with the fittest athletes in any discipline. To give you an idea, here's Ferrari driver and world championship leader Fernando Alonso's fitness programme in the 10 days between the last race in Valencia and here, published by the Spaniard on his excellent Twitter account: 724km (450 miles) on his bike, 53km (33 miles) running; six hours' swimming; two hours in the gym, and 10 hours of miscellaneous sport such as tennis and football."

  106. 1110:  

    The McLaren hospitality unit is absolutely heaving, with Jenson Button's missus Jessica Michibata hanging out with Button's dad on one side and his mother and sister on the other side as his parents aren't together any more. Hamilton, meanwhile, is supported by his brother Nicolas.


    Sauber designer Matt Morris: "We have brought a few changes here related to the back of the car and today's programme is to run through those, although the conditions have meant we have had to change our plan a bit. We have done a few runs but obviously the conditions are not ideal."

  108. 1105:  

    Sauber have a new rear section of the floor and different rear wing options for this race as they battle to get more downforce towards the rear of the car. Kamui Kobayashi is still putting the updated car through its paces out on track, but he can't improve on the seventh fastest time.

  109. 1100:  

    Just Kamui Kobayashi and Jean-Eric Vergne out on circuit at the moment. It's been a busy morning for Sauber's Kobayashi who has just completed his 17th lap. He's one of six drivers to have reached double figures, while the likes of Fernando Alonso, Paul di Resta and Jules Bianchi have done just the one installation lap.


    Tanya Arnold on Twitter: "Incredible shots from Silverstone, they need boats out there, not cars."

  111. 1055:  

    Timo Glock looks bored as he takes cover on the Marussia team wall but Bruno Senna is all smiles as he watches the session from the comfort of the Williams hospitality unit because the team's test driver Valtteri Bottas is out in his car for this session.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Lewis Hamilton said he thought the Ferrari was a quicker race car than his McLaren. And while Red Bull's Mark Webber conceded that 'Fernando has put together a very good start to the season, no question about it', the Australian also pointed out that Alonso has had less bad luck than many of the other contenders, and added: 'He has had some strong race pace. It's not like he's cruising round massively off the pace. Once the race gets going he's not hanging round. The car's always been strong in the race.'"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Much has been made of Fernando Alonso's impressive start to the season, leading the championship after eight races despite his Ferrari never being the fastest car. His rivals, though, have been keen to point out here that the Spaniard's equipment might be better than has been portrayed - despite him never qualifying higher than third."


    Tom at Silverstone, via text: "I had to call home as I'm so wet, my mum is coming with dry clothes."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Ferrari are obviously just not interested in these conditions. Fernando Alonso has a bit of experience so I think he can handle a few hours sitting in his comfortable chair in the garage and then going out in the afternoon."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone

    "It has emerged this week that rising Scottish star Paul di Resta has split from his manager Anthony Hamilton, Lewis's father. The Force India driver has confirmed the initial newspaper reports were true but refused to talk about the reasons for the decision. Events behind the scenes leading up to this race have revealed there is some friction between the two drivers, too. It's all very intriguing, not least because Anthony used to manage Lewis, before the two split amid some acrimony at the end of 2010."

  117. 1050:  

    Just three drivers have yet to set a time - Fernando Alonso and the Force India duo of Paul di Resta and Jules Bianchi. That's not what Bianchi will have hoped for considering this is the only session he'll be driving this weekend...

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari

    On the Pastor Maldonado and Lewis Hamilton clash at the European Grand Prix: "I think it was a 50/50 incident between both drivers. Maldonado should have given more room, especially because his four wheels were off the track. Hamilton should have taken more care, he had no tyre left and he had to remain a little more calm. It was about getting the maximum points possible but they both didn't."

  119. 1047:  

    1) Grosjean 2) Ricciardo 3) Hamilton 4) Perez 5) Massa 6) Webber 7) Kobayashi 8) Schumacher 9) Rosberg 10) Vergne

  120. 1045:  

    Nice to see so much action out on track despite the miserable conditions. Romain Grosjean is still fastest, two tenths quicker than Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso. Here's how they stand after 45 minutes.

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari

    "There are a lot of people out there. When it rains like this in Spain, I can tell you we don't have 80,000 people coming to watch Formula 1."

  122. 1040:  

    It may be cold and wet but at least the F1 drivers are giving the fans plenty to spectacular to watch. Kamui Kobayashi is at it again, spinning of track before recovering. Dani Clos gets out on the grass and ends up pointing the wrong way again in his HRT while Timo Glock smoothly pirouette his Marussia across the grass before continuing on his way.


    Former F1 driver Alexander Wurz on Twitter: "Hello F1. Pls give 1 extra set wet tyres. Fans who sit & watch in wet deserve to see more running. Now teams need to save tyres already four race."


    James Liddiard on Twitter: "Rain gives an element of chance and evens the field a bit more this weekend, perhaps the Schumacher or Button to win?"

  125. 1035:  

    Romain Grosjean, who married long term girlfriend and F1 reporter for French TV Marion Jolles in France last month, hooks it all up nicely and goes quickest of all in the Lotus with a 1:56.552.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn gave a revealing insight into how very different Formula 1 is this year than it has been in recent history. Usually the teams pursue aerodynamic upgrades before all else, but Brawn said this weekend Mercedes had been 'focusing on tyre management, usage and control'. Unlocking the secrets of these Pirelli tyres - which have a narrow working-temperature window - has become at least as important as aerodynamics.'"

  127. 1030:  

    Dani Clos has a little moment out on track, getting on the power a tad too early and losing the rear end of his HRT. The Spaniard ends up facing the wrong way but he's kept the engine running and there's no damage done. On you go, lad.


    McLaren's operations director Simon Roberts: "We have worked hard at the factory, we have a few things here but it's so wet at the moment, so this is a bit of an installation session for us. It is not really about set-up it is just checking that everything is functioning."


    Force India on Twitter: "Difficult conditions but we will start with baseline wet set-up work. Also a good chance to evaluate our cooling solutions for the weekend."


    Chris Wilkinson on Twitter: "Setting off for a weekend camping at silverstone followed by skydive on Monday. Best 21st birthday presents ever!"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "The performance of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel at the last race in Valencia, the most dominant of the year before his retirement alternator failure, has led to concerns that the team led by F1's pre-eminent design genius Adrian Newey may have unlocked a secret that will see them return to the domination of 2010 and 2011. The Red Bull drivers, though, have been keen to play this down. The German's team-mate Mark Webber says: 'Everything together but for sure we didn't make the car slower in Valencia, it was a step in the right direction but we're not kidding ourselves we're going to drive away from the field. We know that's not going to be the case.'"

  132. 1026:  

    Sebastian Vettel sets his first timed lap of the day, a 2:10.702 which is good enough for second, albeit it eight seconds off the pace. Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber goes quicker, though, clocking 2:01.153 to go fastest of all. This is a home race of sorts for the Australian who lives in Buckinghamshire.


    Sam Hall on Twitter: "There seem's to be a lot of car's out on track for a wet session. Are they expecting the whole weekend to be wet?"

  134. 1023:  

    Jenson Button doesn't look too desperate to get out there and put some laps on that McLaren. The 2009 world champion is casually leaning back on a cabinet at the back of his garage talking to his engineers.

  135. 1020:  

    Kamui Kobayashi goes quickest of all with a 2:02.254, nine seconds clear of his Sauber team-mate Sergio Perez. The Japanese is really pushing, maybe a touch too much as he goes off track, spectacularly sprays up water as he ploughs through a puddle.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The development this year is the thing that will win the championship, so that means throwing money at developments and throwing money at new parts. There is not a car here in the pit lane that has not had some new developments this season."

  137. 1017:  

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson says that he's never seen so many different front wing endplate updates on the cars in the first eight races of the season. Interestingly, I was on the bus from the car park to the paddock on Thursday and a McLaren employee climbed onboard with a suitcase in one hand and a front wing endplate in the other. That's one way of transporting parts...

  138. 1013:  

    So just a couple of seat changes to update you on for this session. Jules Bianchi is in for Nico Hulkenberg at Force India, Dani Clos is at the wheel of the HRT in place of Narain Karthikeyan and Valtteri Bottas has taken over Bruno Senna's Williams.


    Neil, via text: "Sat at desk, one eye on skies, one eye on forecast, camping gear in back of car, should I have packed flippers?"

  140. 1008:  

    Sergio Perez is the first man to set a flying lap, clocking 2:11.663 but it's installation laps for everyone else.

  141. 1005:  

    Timo Glock and Charles Pic are out of the pits nice and early in their Marussias, closely followed by the Red Bull of Mark Webber.

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator James Allen

    "The main stand here at Silverstone at 10:00am is completely full. They are truly dedicated fans. It is a massive commitment."

  143. 1003:  

    If you're wondering why you can't hear the dulcet tones of former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari, it's because he's stuck in traffic. I'm hearing that the roads are still pretty horrendous out there, with the traffic tailing back all the way down the A43. Stick with it if you're in the queue because watching Formula 1 cars round Silverstone in the wet is something pretty special.

  144. 1000:  
    GO! GO! GO!

    Practice for the British Grand Prix is go, go, go!


    Both Marussia F1 cars will carry Maria de Villota's orange 'star' logo on the mirrors and on the drivers' helmets, as will Sauber's Sergio Perez, who says on on Twitter: "Maria will do this GP with me!! With love !!#fuerzamaria !! We are all with you!!!"

    Di Villota was involved in an accident earlier this week and is in a "critical but stable" condition in hospital.

  146. 0955:  

    Ben Edwards, Jennie Gow and Gary Anderson are up and running on the BBC Red Button and this very website. You can watch all the action by clicking on the link to the top right of this page.


    Niki, via text: "My brother won the British Universities karting champs earlier this year and has won VIP access to the Red Bull garage today. That has to be the best place to be - out of the rain!"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Statistic of the weekend has to be one surrounding Sebastian Vettel. The world champion may have taken 22 wins from his 89 starts but, someone realised, he has never won a grand prix in July. 'Awesome,' Jenson Button said. 'That's a really good stat.'"

  149. 0950:  

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow reports that it is "wet and soggy" before revealing she's wearing a set of purple wellies to cope with the weather. Smart girl.

  150. 0947:  

    Nice touch from Lewis Hamilton who has donned a rainjacket and headed over to the pit wall to wave to wave to his adoring fans.

  151. 0945:  

    It's raining again at Silverstone, but the fans are still out in force. We've got an array of golfing umbrellas up on the banks, my favourite is an old school yellow Jordan one while over in the grandstands there's a sea of red caps - for McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button - with a host of banners too. "Go Lewis and Jenson, do it for the Jubilee," says one. "Bring it, Lewis," says another.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Silverstone came in for a bit of criticism last year when the new pit lane design - which is behind a wall on a part of the track that runs uphill along the pit straight - meant that fans who had bought tickets in the grandstands opposite could not see the top teams. This has been fixed this year by putting Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari in the middle and having the other teams fanning out on either side. It'll be unusual for the big teams to be making their pit stops in the middle of the pit lane, but there's no doubt it's a step forward for the spectators."

  153. 0939:  

    So here's the plan for today. First practice starts at 10:00, with live coverage on the Red Button and this very website with commentary from the BBC Radio 5 live boys. That'll last for 90 minutes. Then we've got a little breather before second practice gets under way at 14:00.


    DCHasscocks on Twitter: "Heard Perez fancies his chances this weekend. Does it look like anyone is agreeing with him?"

    Indeed he does and after his performance in the wet in Malaysia earlier this year, why wouldn't he? The Mexican was all smiles in the paddock on Thursday, taking time to sign autographs, have pictures with his growing number of fans and chat to the media.


    Robin Cowling on Twitter: "We should be proud of how busy the roads get around Silverstone. It shows the passion the fans have for F1 #everycloud."

  156. 0933:  

    The safety car is just popping out on track to survey the conditions. It looks like the rain has stopped, but the track is still wet and there are puddles everywhere, especially on the tarmac run-off. The grandstands are already starting to fill up with hardy British fans, though. I bet those who paid for a covered grandstand are feeling rather pleased with themselves at the moment...


    Steve Morton via Twitter: "Looking forward to the weather shaking things up a bit @ Silverstone!"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Caterham have some major upgrades here, about which they are very optimistic, and it turns out they could be vital in whether deciding whether their lead driver Heikki Kovalainen stays on next year. The Finn - who won in Hungary for McLaren in 2008 - says: 'My personal target is to return to the fight near the top, as soon as possible of course. Who knows where? I haven't spoken to anyone about it yet but certainly next year I want to be in the pack, in the mix at least, to show what I can do.' Does he feel he needs to leave Caterham in 2013 to get that? 'I dunno. At the moment it is too early to say that. We need to wait and see how we're improving and how we're heading and then at some point see what is available, but we haven't looked at that.'"

  159. 0927:  

    Heikki Kovalainen was in good form on Thursday, though you could say he's in good form all the time no matter what happens on track, and among during media briefing, the Finn came out with an interesting line about his future...


    Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen on Twitter: "Managed to make it to morning debrief in time, traffic is terrible to get in, funny how it is difficult here with the traffic every year..."


    Sauber on Twitter: "Heavy, heavy traffic to the track. Completely stuck on the A43. If you see @SChecoPerez and @kamui_kobayashi please let them pass...;-)."

  162. 0922:  

    A quick look at Twitter suggests people are having a right nightmare getting into the circuit this morning. Admittedly, it may not help you right now if you're already stuck, but the Highways Agency so it might be worth keeping an eye on over the weekend.

  163. 0917:  

    Are you sitting in a flooded tent in a campsite surrounding Silverstone? Or are you already in the circuit on your deckchair, sipping tea and trying to stay warm? Or maybe you're in the warmth, either at home or in the office. Whereever you are, I want to hear from you. Tweet me @lawrobarretto using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111, remembering to put your name and F1 at the start of the message.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Wet or dry, all the F1 drivers love Silverstone for its challenging high-speed layout. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton probably expressed this best in Thursday's warm-up interviews. 'Copse will always be my favourite corner here,' the McLaren driver said. 'I love Becketts but going into that corner at nearly 200mph and not even braking is just phenomenal. It's one of those corners on the calendar where you need to check your nuts are intact and you're ready for it.'"

  165. 0912:  

    I hope the fans in the campsites surrounding Silverstone are still as excited as you, Andrew. I was over at Litchlake campsite yesterday evening and the fields were pretty boggy - and that was even before the rain had started to fall. The fans were in good spirit, though, and unsurprisingly most of those I spoke to said they thought Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button would take the spoils on Sunday. One plumped for Kamui Kobayashi - which would no doubt please one of my colleagues in the office - but based on the way this season has gone, it's not impossible is it?


    Andrew Bacon on Twitter: "So excited about the British GP this weekend! Definitely feeling a British winner this year!"

  167. 0907:  

    The GP3 lot are out on circuit and struggling. The conditions are pretty awful and they're doing a good job just to keep their cars on the track. Suffice to say the marshals are doing very well this morning, pushing cars out of the gravel and heaving them onto cranes....

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Silverstone:

    "Regardless of where they come from, the Formula 1 drivers all have a soft spot for the British Grand Prix, largely because of the history, atmosphere and challenge of Silverstone as a circuit. And that's despite the infamous British weather, which is something of a running joke among all the drivers. They come here every year expecting to be rained on, and barely an interview went by on Thursday without the driver in question mentioning the likelihood of rain this weekend. On Friday, at least, they are going to be proved right - the rain came with the early mid-summer dawn. The forecast is for it to brighten up later on, but it remains to be seen how much track action there will be in the first session of the weekend this morning."

  169. 0903:  

    Ah the British weather. You've got to love it haven't you? As if this season needs any more excitement, we've got the prospect of heavy rain on race day. Bad for the fans in the grandstands, great for those chilling out on their sofa.

  170. 0900:  

    It's cold, it's windy, it's absolutely tipping it down. Welcome to England, welcome to the British Grand Prix. Let's go racing, people.

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FIA Formula 1 World Championsh 2015

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 194
2 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 177
3 Germany S Vettel Ferrari 135
4 Finland V Bottas Williams 77
5 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 76
6 Brazil F Massa Williams 74
7 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 36
8 Russia D Kvyat Red Bull 27
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 24
10 France R Grosjean Lotus 17
11 Brazil F Nasr Sauber 16
12 Mexico S Perez Force India 15
13 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 12
14 M Verstappen Toro Rosso 10
15 C Sainz Toro Rosso 9
16 Sweden M Ericsson Sauber 5
17 Great Britain J Button McLaren 4
18 Spain F Alonso McLaren 1
19 R Merhi Manor Marussia F1 0
20 W Stevens Manor Marussia F1 0


After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham