Jenson Button was the fastest driver in FP1 at the German Grand Prix

Jenson Button is in dire need of a confidence-boosting performance, and being the quickest driver by a comfortable half-second in the opening practice session for this weekend’s German Grand Prix could well be the tonic he needs.

The McLaren driver finished the session on top of a McLaren 1-2 on the timesheets in this morning’s opener at Hockenheim, but times were still deceptive with the session interrupted by no less than four separate rain showers.

Unable to effectively test their planned upgrade packages in the rain-hit British Grand Prix practice sessions, all teams were keen to clock up as much mileage as possible to evaluate their new parts. But the weather had other ideas, and any loss in track time was being roundly cursed up and down the pit lane.

McLaren was one such team to be trialling a host of upgrades, with their latest package including a new rear wing and sidepod designs. Button’s fastest time – a 1:16.595 – came early in the ninety-minute session.

Lotus was another team to arrive with a major upgrade package, with the E20 sporting the team’s first attempt at a ‘Super DRS’ design concept first pioneered by Mercedes. Kimi Räikkönen looked on course to improve his session’s best lap time in the final seconds, but had to lift off through the last complex of corners, courtesy of his compatriot Valtteri Bottas having spun his Williams into the Sachs Kurve gravel.

It was a rare mistake by the Finn, who has so far shown excellent pace and a clean driving record in his Friday outings for the Grove team, which will have little time to turn around the car and ready it for Bruno Senna, who will step in the car for the afternoon’s second practice session.

2012 German Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:16.595   27
2. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:17.093 + 0.498 22
3. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:17.370 + 0.775 21
4. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:17.382 + 0.787 20
5. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C31 1:17.413 + 0.818 28
6. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:17.599 + 1.004 17
7. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:17.915 + 1.320 27
8. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:17.995 + 1.400 22
9. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW34 1:18.020 + 1.425 20
10. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:18.130 + 1.535 21
11. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C31 1:18.226 + 1.631 22
12. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:18.339 + 1.744 21
13. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW34 1:18.422 + 1.827 28
14. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:18.709 + 2.114 30
15. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:18.831 + 2.236 14
16. Jules Bianchi FRA Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:18.972 + 2.377 21
17. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:19.039 + 2.444 34
18. Vitaly Petrov RUS Caterham Renault CT01 1:19.674 + 3.079 24
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Caterham Renault CT01 1:19.963 + 3.368 24
20. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:20.122 + 3.527 27
21. Charles Pic FRA Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:20.169 + 3.574 20
22. Timo Glock DEU Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:20.539 + 3.944 18
23. Pedro de la Rosa ESP HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:21.138 + 4.543 24
24. Dani Clos ESP HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:21.740 + 5.145 27

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.