“Boring” practice offers little insight into form

2012 British GP Friday practice analysis

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“I found the day very boring,” said Sergio Perez after today’s washed out practice sessions. “There wasn’t much we could do and it was impossible to complete our test programme.”

If it was bad for him, it was much worse for the thousands of fans who had queued for hours to get in who were greeted by little practice running. Unluckiest of all were those who failed to make it in at all.

For those looking for clues as to how the weekend might unfold, today’s two practice sessions offered little insight.

While Lewis Hamilton topped the times the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso ran intermediate tyres in the second session, despite the heavy rain, to preserve their tyre allocation. There are likely to be two more days of very wet running still ahead.

Alonso’s crash at the end of second practice cost him one of the team’s new specification front wings. Fortunately for Williams, Bruno Senna was not running their latest kit when he crashed at Chapel.

Incidents like this explain much of the teams’ reluctance to turn practice laps in very wet conditions, particularly when the rain is still falling and the pools of standing water are swelling.

For what it’s worth, here’s the data from today’s practice sessions:

Longest stint comparison – second session

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:


Sebastian Vettel120.353119.476
Mark Webber
Jenson Button121.828119.087117.948
Lewis Hamilton119.208116.345123.47127.408120.485116.396
Fernando Alonso119.604124.206119.015
Felipe Massa120.565
Michael Schumacher118.192119.117117.701120.17
Nico Rosberg118.237118.018117.475116.567117.059
Kimi Raikkonen127.459
Romain Grosjean
Paul di Resta119.827119.429
Nico Hulkenberg122.181119.626118.943
Kamui Kobayashi124.198124.806119.405118.894
Sergio Perez120.395119.089139.036122.122
Daniel Ricciardo
Jean-Eric Vergne120.554125.348119.854
Pastor Maldonado119.472125.561
Bruno Senna121.099
Heikki Kovalainen119.203119.874118.58121.593119.868
Vitaly Petrov129.6122.694123.045130.061131.197121.348
Pedro de la Rosa
Narain Karthikeyan131.232125.067124.774124.933124.954
Timo Glock121.425122.404121.348120.82
Charles Pic124.683123.719137.588138.539

Sector times and ultimate lap times – second session

CarDriverCarSector 1Sector 2Sector 3Ultimate lapGapDeficit to best
14Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes35.916 (1)46.929 (2)32.477 (1)1’55.3221.023
214Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari36.362 (3)46.591 (1)33.012 (6)1’55.9650.6430.509
38Nico RosbergMercedes36.266 (2)47.033 (3)33.004 (4)1’56.3030.9810.264
47Michael SchumacherMercedes36.468 (4)47.161 (4)32.886 (3)1’56.5151.193-0.883
515Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari36.489 (5)47.691 (5)33.010 (5)1’57.1901.8680.303
63Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes36.647 (7)47.799 (6)33.406 (9)1’57.8522.5300.096
712Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes36.630 (6)48.156 (8)33.586 (12)1’58.3723.0500.571
820Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault36.849 (9)48.186 (9)33.436 (10)1’58.4713.1490.109
911Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes36.716 (8)48.358 (11)33.572 (11)1’58.6463.3240.211
105Fernando AlonsoFerrari37.054 (11)48.406 (13)33.404 (8)1’58.8643.5420.151
119Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault37.515 (15)48.556 (15)32.826 (2)1’58.8973.5750.000
121Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault37.077 (12)48.418 (14)33.592 (13)1’59.0873.7650.389
1318Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault37.719 (17)48.011 (7)33.388 (7)1’59.1183.7960.354
1417Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari37.138 (13)48.404 (12)34.031 (17)1’59.5734.2510.281
156Felipe MassaFerrari36.922 (10)48.795 (17)33.895 (15)1’59.6124.2900.953
1619Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault37.695 (16)48.653 (16)33.820 (14)2’00.1684.8460.931
1724Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth38.171 (18)48.238 (10)33.990 (16)2’00.3995.0770.421
1821Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault37.342 (14)49.558 (18)34.257 (18)2’01.1575.8350.191
1925Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth38.671 (19)49.981 (19)34.829 (20)2’03.4818.1590.238
2023Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth39.097 (20)50.324 (20)34.568 (19)2’03.9898.6670.785

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2Total laps
1Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’57.1741’56.34514
2Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’58.4831’56.47435
3Michael SchumacherMercedes1’58.4931’56.54522
4Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’56.55214
5Nico RosbergMercedes1’58.9421’56.56717
6Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’56.82712
7Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’57.6641’57.49324
8Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes2’01.8341’57.94815
9Felipe MassaFerrari1’58.1192’00.56514
10Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’58.4638
11Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’59.7871’58.58020
12Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault2’00.2531’58.89717
13Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’58.94312
14Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’59.01518
15Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’59.0761’59.85419
16Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’59.4141’59.47621
17Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’59.42910
18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault2’00.1251’59.47211
19Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’59.6142’01.34821
20Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’59.7337
21Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth2’01.8352’00.82017
22Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault2’01.0996
23Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth2’11.7602’03.71914
24Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth2’04.3419
25Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth2’04.7748

Speed trap – second session

#DriverCarEngineMax speedGap
117Jean-Eric VergneToro RossoFerrari277.6
29Kimi RaikkonenLotusRenault277.50.1
37Michael SchumacherMercedesMercedes2770.6
43Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes276.21.4
54Lewis HamiltonMcLarenMercedes276.21.4
612Jules BianchiForce IndiaMercedes275.81.8
78Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes275.52.1
811Paul di RestaForce IndiaMercedes275.52.1
923Daniel ClosHRTCosworth275.32.3
105Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari274.33.3
1120Heikki KovalainenCaterhamRenault2743.6
121Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault272.74.9
1314Kamui KobayashiSauberFerrari272.74.9
1418Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsRenault271.95.7
1524Timo GlockMarussiaCosworth270.86.8
1621Vitaly PetrovCaterhamRenault270.86.8
176Felipe MassaFerrariFerrari270.27.4
1825Charles PicMarussiaCosworth268.59.1
1915Sergio PerezSauberFerrari268.29.4
2019Valtteri BottasWilliamsRenault265.711.9
2116Daniel RicciardoToro RossoFerrari250.726.9
222Mark WebberRed BullRenault219.258.4
2310Romain GrosjeanLotusRenault199.777.9

2012 British Grand Prix

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Image © Sauber F1 Team

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on ““Boring” practice offers little insight into form”

  1. Excellent — this is all new information to me, even though I was there! I’m interested to now learn who topped the times, etc. I was dumb enough to forget to pack binoculars, so I couldn’t read what was on the screens, and my UK phone was picking up no signal for most of the day. I suppose I will be shelling out for FanVision tomorrow!

  2. Q3 for Heikki?

    1. I doubt that much but they certainly have a good chance at Q2 if Vergne is as slow as usual.

      1. Vergne has a ten-place grid penalty anyway, of course.

        1. Which means he might as well just do a single run to be within 107%, then start from pitlane and await what the weather will be at the start. Might even be good :)

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