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Practice One - Sutil tops damp German session 23 Jul 2010

Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 VJM03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 23 July 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25 crashed in the first practice session.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 23 July 2010 Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 23 July 2010 Sakon Yamamoto (JPN) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) HRTF1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 23 July 2010

The only really conclusive thing about Friday morning’s opening practice session for the German Grand Prix was how heavily Lewis Hamilton trashed his McLaren after getting caught out in the slippery conditions at Turn Four and banging it hard enough into the tyre wall to rip off the front wing and damage the left-rear suspension.

Heavy rain from the start made for a tough morning’s work for everyone, though the track was getting better towards the end of the hour and a half as the rain eased.

Adrian Sutil was the hero, slamming his Force India round in 1m 25.701s to ace everybody convincingly. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was the next up, after a whole series of spins and off-track adventures, with 1m 26.850s.

Jenson Button retrieved things somewhat for McLaren right at the end, shooting up from the depths of the timesheets to third with 1m 26.936s, and he was followed by Rubens Barrichello on 1m 26.947s and Vitaly Petrov on 1m 26.948s, for Williams and Renault respectively.

Nico Rosberg was sixth for Mercedes GP on 1m 27.448s, then there was a jump to Sebastien Buemi on 1m 28.114s in the Toro Rosso. He was chased by Nico Hulkenberg, who was fast all the way through in the second Williams, on 1m 28.193s, Vitantonio Liuzzi in the second Force India on 1m 28.300s, Pedro de la Rosa’s BMW Sauber on 1m 26.486s, Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull on 1m 28.735s, Timo Glock who matched that exactly for Virgin in that team’s best showing yet, and Robert Kubica who… yes, believe it or not finally made a mistake! He was one of many to slide off the road in his Renault, in which he recorded a best lap of 1m 28.903s.

In the next batch came Red Bull’s Mark Webber on 1m 29.048s, Jarno Trulli on 1m 29.280s for Lotus, Toro Rosso’s Jamie Alguersuari on 1m 29.366s, Hamilton, whose 1m 29.429s left him ninth at the time of his shunt, Virgin’s Lucas di Grassi on 1m 29.500s, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on 1m 29.684s and BMW Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 29.690s.

At the back came Fairuz Fauzy who had several moments in Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus on his way to 1m 30.938s, Bruno Senna, who lapped his HRT in 1m 31.720s before spinning it into the Turn 11 gravel, Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher on 1m 32.450s and HRT’s Sakon Yamamoto on 1m 32.791s.

So… altogether an odd session into which we should not read too much, but which was never dull. And the way the weather is in Hockenheim on Friday, it’s likely to be repeated this afternoon.