The day started off well for McLaren as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton led the way in the first free practice of the German Grand Prix. Button dominated the Hockenheimring from the start, while Hamilton put in a strong pace in the closing stages of the session. They were followed by Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso.
The drivers had to cope with rainy weather conditions again, though it was less heavy than in Great Britain. Though the drivers returned to the pits several times, all were able to put in some good running. Button led the session from the start on his medium tires, while the others were trying out Pirelli’s new hard (silver) compound tire. Though Hamilton was running strong, he was unable to keep up with his teammate. Both their cars are fitted with new upgrades, amongst which modified sidepods. The McLaren team hopes to improve its recent poor results.
Michael Schumacher set the fourth best time on his home circuit while another local favorite; Sebastian Vettel, was unable to post a good time. He eventually came in twelfth while teammate Mark Webber completed a slow run for Red Bull in twentieth. Schumacher was followed by Sergio Perez, who was seen inside the top three for most of the session and Nico Hülkenberg came in sixth.
The top ten was completed by Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean. The latter one’s Lotus teammate was running with an upgraded car. Though the team prevented the cameras from getting a glimpse of the E20, it is probably running with a new DRS system that is almost similar to Mercedes’. While Kimi Räikkönen set a few laps, he did not do some serious running. He eventually came in fifteenth. Grosjean was not running with the new system.
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