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Practice Two - Massa masters changing conditions 08 Jul 2011

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 150 Italia.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 8 July 2011 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 8 July 2011 Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 8 July 2011 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 8 July 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 8 July 2011

Yet another inconclusive practice session has kept observers guessing on the true effect of the ban on off-throttle blown diffusers, as the weather remained changeable at Silverstone on Friday afternoon.

A raft of fast laps right at the end of a session in which nobody ventured out for the first half, saw Felipe Massa bang in the best lap for Ferrari in 1m 49.967s, beating Nico Rosberg’s 1m 50.744s for Mercedes by 0.777s.

These two were well ahead of Kamui Kobayashi, who made amends to Sauber for his morning shunt by taking third fastest time in 1m 51.395s. He was chased by Lewis Hamilton, who lapped his McLaren in 1m 51.438s to pip team mate Jenson Button’s 1m 51.518s, then Adrian Sutil just did likewise to Force India partner Paul di Resta, with 1m 51.738s to 1m 51.781s. Rubens Barrichello completed that bracket with 1m 51.992s for Williams.

Sergio Perez made it a good session for Sauber by taking ninth fastest time in 1m 52.169s, just ahead of Sebastien Buemi on 1m 52.189s for Toro Rosso and Vitaly Petrov on 1m 52.198s for Renault. Such was the flurry of late times as track conditions improved that one-time pacesetter Michael Schumacher for Mercedes found his 1m 52.325s good enough only for 12th by the time the flag fell less than 10 minutes after he set it.

Heikki Kovalainen was 13th for Team Lotus with 1m 52.578s ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who like Schumacher had been the fastest for a while with 1m 52.587s, and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on 1m 52.869s.

Nick Heidfeld was 16th in the second Renault on 1m 54.023s, ahead of Jaime Alguersuari, who deserved some accolade for being the first to venture out. The Spaniard spun his Toro Rosso at Club very early on when there was standing water all round the track, then much later set the pace for a while. His eventual 1m 54.274s left him 17th ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel on 1m 54.545s, Jerome D’Ambrosio on 1m 54.714s for Virgin, Williams’ Pastor Maldonado on 1m 55.155s and Jarno Trulli who shared the same time as the Venezuelan for Lotus. Timo Glock was 22nd for Virgin on 1m 55.549s, ahead of the HRTs of rookie Daniel Ricciardo and Tonio Liuzzi on 1m 55.828s and 1m 56.037s respectively.

The focus now switches to Saturday morning’s final free practice session, which may provide teams with the only dry session they experience before the race.

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