Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest time in a wet British Grand Prix practice session that looked for a long spell like it might feature no flying laps whatsoever.
Teams do not expect the heavy rain that began Friday morning to continue into the weekend, giving even less reason than usual to take to a wet track in practice one.
After initial installation laps, most drivers chose to wait in the pits, leaving the large crowd to entertain themselves before an empty track. Finally with less than a quarter of an hour left Toro Rosso’s Ricciardo became the first man to actually set a lap time, crossing the line in 2m00.029s. That prompted others to come out, and ultimately 11 drivers completed flying laps through the puddles.
Lewis Hamilton was fastest with a 1m55.033s in his Mercedes going into the final moments, but Ricciardo regained his top spot with a 1m54.249s. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg and Williams driver Pastor Maldonado then slipped into second and third, demoting Hamilton to fourth. Esteban Gutierrez and Valtteri Bottas completed the top six, despite a late spin for the former.
Kimi Raikkonen was the only driver not to take to the track at all. His Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean, Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Sergio Perez all confined themselves to a single tour then stayed in the pits.
Proving that track conditions definitely were treacherous, Charles Pic crashed his Caterham at Club late in the session. The Frenchman was unhurt.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m54.249s 10 2. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m55.033s + 0.784s 7 3. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m55.354s + 1.105s 7 4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m55.458s + 1.209s 5 5. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m55.825s + 1.576s 9 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m56.361s + 2.112s 7 7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m57.891s + 3.642s 4 8. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m58.859s + 4.610s 6 9. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m59.719s + 5.470s 7 10. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m59.876s + 5.627s 8 11. Felipe Massa Ferrari 2m06.534s + 12.285 6 12. Nico Rosberg Mercedes no time 3 13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes no time 4 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault no time 1 15. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes no time 1 16. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes no time 4 17. Fernando Alonso Ferrari no time 4 18. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault no time 1 19. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes no time 1 20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault no time 3 21. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault no time 4 22. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault no time 0