Adrian Sutil has done his now-customary wet-weather display by comfortably heading the timesheets in the opening practice session for the German Grand Prix, which, you guessed it, was held in mixed conditions.
The former World Champion – who was a victor the last time the F1 circus visited Hockenheim – overcorrected through a puddle at Turn 3, 70 minutes into the session. His car snapped to the right and across the grass, where he mangled three corners of the car after collecting the wall.
For Sutil the wet-weather specialist, it was a trouble-free opening practice session, where he was a feature throughout the latter half of the session as conditions began to improve. His best time of 1:25.701 – over a second quicker than any rival – was set when the track was at its driest.
A surprise second-quickest was none other than Felipe Massa – never known as a driver able to master damp track conditions – who managed a quick time but was his more typical all-at-sea self in the conditions for much of the 90-minute session. The Brazilian driver had no less than five wild moments in his Ferrari, where he either swapped ends or went sailing across the grass.
Despite complaining about the handling of his McLaren, Jenson Button posted the third-quickest time of the 24-strong field.
He was followed by three of the 2010 grid’s other wet-weather stylists, Rubens Barrichello in the Williams, Vitaly Petrov in Renault, and Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes GP.
Both Toro Rossos featured highly on the timesheets for much of the session, with Sébastien Buemi winding up seventh-quickest at the end of the session, although team-mate Jaime Alguersuari fell down to 16th overall in the closing minutes of the session.
The mixed conditions saw some drivers who should have featured in the reckoning well down the order – either by misadventure or traffic – with the likes of Sebastian Vettel (11th), Mark Webber (14th), Fernando Alonso (19th) and Michael Schumacher (23rd) not featuring prominently.
In turn, that presented some of the lesser runners with moments in the sun. Most notable of these was Timo Glock, whose rather ordinary Virgin VR-01 seemed to revel in the damp environment, winding up in the giddily high position of 12th at the end of the session. Similarly, Jarno Trulli was 15th quickest in his Lotus.
2010 German GP Practice 1 Session Times:
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]