Silverstone, 8 July – The British Grand Prix is one of the most traditional events on the Formula 1 calendar and part of that tradition demands that all the non-British inhabitants of the paddock must be able to complain about the English summer weather.
Today, they did not have to exaggerate as the track was never dry during the total of three hours of track time and for the morning session, it was also unseasonably cold. However, this did not deter an enthusiastic crowd from flocking to Silverstone to watch the action. They did not see that many laps because, despite each driver being provided with one extra set of Intermediate Pirelli rain tyres for use today only, all teams are aware of the need to save tyres for the rest of the weekend. Felipe Massa completed a total of 22 on his way to topping the afternoon time sheet, while Fernando Alonso did two more, ending the day in fifteenth place.
In both cases, the lap times mean little, even if both Scuderia Ferrari drivers were generally happy with the performance of their 150º Italia cars. Testing a variety of aero updates was the main item on the work sheet, but this is not the sort of work that lends itself to being carried out on a wet track.
Enough data was gathered to give an approximate idea of what the new parts might deliver in the dry, but no real picture has emerged of how much performance might be gained. Another regular item on the Friday work list also had to be abandoned: the comparison between the Hard and Soft dry tyre compounds Pirelli has brought here.
In the afternoon, Nico Rosberg steered his Mercedes to second place behind Felipe, while Kamui Kobayashi was third for Sauber, having crashed his car in the morning. In fourth and fifth places came the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, with Adrian Sutil completing the top six for Force India. One driver change this weekend: Daniel Ricciardo who had driven FP1 for Toro Rosso so far this season has been loaned to Hispania Racing as a stand in race driver for Narain Karthikeyan.