Pastor Maldonado has popped up at the top of the timesheets on a gloomy afternoon’s running in the second practice session at the German Grand Prix.
The Williams beat Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg to top spot by less than one-tenth of a season, while Rosberg’s team-mate Michael Schumacher had a heavy crash in the closing minutes to bring the session to a premature close. Schumacher was unscathed, but his car was seriously damaged.
Conditions were again bleak when the track opened for business, as the heavens decided to deposit their contents on the Hockenheim circuit between practice sessions. It took almost half an hour before a few brave souls ventured out and attempted to clock some lap times, but the track got busier as conditions steadily improved, only for the rain to come back again later on.
The owner of the provisionally fastest time changed rapidly midway through the session as the field took the decision to switch from wet to intermediate tyres, and it was here that Maldonado popped up in top spot and remained there when conditions worsened once again.
Behind the leading pair, Sebastian Vettel finished third-quickest ahead of Sergio Pérez and Romain Grosjean to complete the top five placings, ahead of Nico Hülkenberg, Daniel Ricciardo (whose session ended early when he spun off and beached his Toro Rosso), Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Kimi Räikkönen.
Much of the field was able to complete a decent amount of running, with the exception being Pedro de la Rosa, whose HRTF1 entry was confined to the garage during the best track conditions while a braking issue was investigated.
Admitting that he was distracted trying to juggle radio messages and performing some adjustments on his car in the cockpit, the German dropped a wheel on a damp white line and lurched into the wall at speed.
All four corners of his Mercedes were comprehensively destroyed, leaving his mechanics with a huge amount of repair work to complete overnight.
2012 German Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:
|1.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW34||1:27.476||14|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:27.564||+ 0.088||24|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:27.902||+ 0.426||24|
|4.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:28.402||+ 0.926||26|
|5.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:28.420||+ 0.944||20|
|6.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:28.495||+ 1.019||22|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:28.513||+ 1.037||23|
|8.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:28.516||+ 1.040||16|
|9.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:28.877||+ 1.401||21|
|10.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:29.327||+ 1.851||22|
|11.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:29.364||+ 1.888||26|
|12.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:29.719||+ 2.243||15|
|13.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:29.785||+ 2.309||24|
|14.||Charles Pic||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:30.090||+ 2.614||19|
|15.||Timo Glock||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:30.220||+ 2.744||16|
|16.||Bruno Senna||Williams Renault FW34||1:30.291||+ 2.815||22|
|17.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham Renault CT01||1:30.331||+ 2.855||26|
|18.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:30.437||+ 2.961||14|
|19.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:30.617||+ 3.141||16|
|20.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:31.207||+ 3.731||20|
|21.||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham Renault CT01||1:32.241||+ 4.765||22|
|22.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:32.349||+ 4.873||17|
|23.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:32.777||+ 5.301||18|
|24.||Pedro de la Rosa||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:42.566||+ 15.090||8|