German GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

McLarens quickest at Hockenheim

Jenson Button, German GP 2012

Jenson Button, German GP 2012 

 © The Cahier Archive

McLaren got an important weekend at Hockenheim off to a good start with the fastest and second fastest times in the opening session of free practice for Sunday's German GP.

Jenson Button (1:16.595) set the pace but his lap was set on the medium compound Pirelli tyre early in the session, before intermittent showers made the track surface greasy in places. Lewis Hamilton's 1:17.093 came later in the session.

McLaren is hopeful that significant aerodynamic and mechanical upgrades will put them back into the thick of the action at Hockenheim and while it is too early to draw any serious con conclusions, first impressions are promising.

Fernando Alonso Ferrari (:17.370) was third fastest, ahead of Michael Schumacher's Mercedes (1:17.382) and Sergio Perez's Sauber (1:17.413).

Nico Hulkenberg (1:17.595) was among the early quick men in the Force India, while team mate Paul Di Resta was forced to sit out the session to allow test driver Jules Bianchi some more mileage.

Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:17.915) finished the session seventh fastest, ahead of Felipe Massa's Ferrari (1:17.995), Pastor Maldonado's Williams (1:18.020) and Romain Grosjean's Lotus (1:18.130).

Lotus also has some significant upgrades at Hockenheim and broke the curfew on Thursday night to get them on the car. The E20 featured a pair of air ducts either side of the roll hoop, which appeared to have exits at the back of the rear crash structure, the team experimenting with flowviz paint to gauge the effectiveness.


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