Rosberg puts Mercedes on top at Silverstone

German fastest in rain-affected practice for British GP.

Reuters June 28, 2013
It was a disappointing day for the crowd at Silverstone as bad weather meant hopes of five British drivers on track came to nothing. PHOTO: REUTERS

SILVERSTONE: Nico Rosberg was fastest for Mercedes in practice for the British Formula One Grand Prix yesterday after rain made a mockery of the morning session.

The German, winner on the winding streets of Monaco this season, lapped the Silverstone circuit on a largely dry afternoon with a best time of one minute 32.248 seconds.

Australian Mark Webber, twice a winner in the last three years at what amounts to a home race, and Red Bull teammate and championship leader Sebastian Vettel were second and third on the timesheets.

Force India’s Paul Di Resta was the leading Briton in fourth place with Rosberg’s teammate Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 champion, fifth fastest.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa skidded off and smashed into the tyre wall at Stowe after seven laps.

Only half of the grid had posted a timed lap in the morning practice, with most of the leading drivers remaining in their garages as the rain came down — much to the disappointment of the 80,000 spectators.

“There isn’t much point heading out at the moment,” McLaren’s Jenson Button told the BBC. “I think we need to apologise to the fans but for us it is really wet out there and it is going to be dry at the weekend, so it is more a risk than anything else. We have some new parts and with standing water it is pretty easy to hit the wall and damage those parts.”

Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was second on the morning timesheets with Williams’ Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado third and Hamilton fourth.

Caterham’s French driver Charles Pic skidded off the slippery surface and into the tyre wall at Club corner, smashing the front wing, in the morning.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2013.

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