Hamilton tops timesheets in soaked British Grand Prix practice
The need to save wet tyres took precedence over lap practice for many drivers
Lewis Hamilton will have fond memories of careering around Silverstone in the wet and he will need to continue to draw on these at this year’s British Grand Prix.
In an eventful but not very informative opening two practice sessions that were severely impacted by rain, it was Hamilton who topped the timesheets, finishing 0.129secs ahead of Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi.
Hamilton finished over 68secs in front of his nearest pursuer in the 2008 British Grand Prix in another race fondly remembered for the rain.
On that occasion the majority of the opposition had enough trouble simply keeping their cars on the track, let alone feeling like they were involved in a race.
In similar conditions, Hamilton held the edge again and is now 3/1 to begin the British Grand Prix from pole position and 9/2 to secure victory.
The one disappointment that Hamilton may have is that the wet conditions prevented his McLaren from running some planned upgrades, so these will have to wait until potentially the German Grand Prix later this month.
The majority of drivers were understandably slightly reluctant to spend too much time on the track, with only nine drivers completing ten laps on more in each session, as they only have three sets of full wet tyres to utilise throughout the whole weekend.
With further rain forecast for qualifying and the actual race, it may well prove to be the driver that can best save the rubber on his wet tyres that has the best chance of victory.
World Championship leader Fernando Alonso arguably had the most intriguing day, failing to post a time in the first session and then taking a spin in the second when testing the suitability of the intermediate tyres in the conditions.
In the process, Alonso damaged a new wing that had only just been designed by Ferrari for the British Grand Prix and it will be interesting to see which strategy he adopts in qualifying.
Alonso is 8/1 to start from pole at Silverstone, with Sebastian Vettel favourite at 13/8 in the Formula One odds.