British GP opening practice washed out

© F1 Pulse, 28 June 2013
© AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Weather played spoilsport during the first practice session for the British Grand Prix on Friday limiting the running on a soggy track, with most of the big names remaining in the paddock.

Only 11 of the 22 drivers set a time, all of which were inconsequential especially considering it is expected to remain dry in Sunday’s race at Silverstone.

With the rain disrupting the outing, the track remained empty for most of the 90-minute session.

Daniel Ricciardo emerged as the fastest driver with a time of 1 minute 54.249 seconds as he battled his Toro Rosso around the wet and tricky circuit, in conditions which resulted in Charles Pic crashing his Caterham in the wall at the Club corner in the closing stages.

Yellow flags made an appearance as the Frenchman got out unhurt from his car, which had a severely damaged nose. Esteban Gutierrez spun at Abbey but the Mexican collected his Sauber and escaped from hitting the barriers.

Several others too struggled with the wet track, sliding across puddles of standing water.

Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg followed Ricciardo, 0.784 seconds off the pace. Williams' Pastor Maldonado was third fastest.

All drivers, except Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen, conducted at least an installation lap but due to the standing water opted not to risk venturing out again as the rains did not show any signs of easing off.

Expecting dryer conditions this weekend, teams gambled they would learn little from a wet track. Drivers only used the wet tyres for the duration of the session.

Half the field went out in the session, though Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was the only title contender to set a lap time.

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With inputs from the report by AP

 

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