Williams driver times runs right as rain disrupts practice in Germany.
Fri 20.07.12, 5:05PM
Pastor Maldonado topped the timesheets in the second free practice session at Hockenheim, largely by virtue of taking to the track at the right time in a session disrupted by rain.
Maldonado’s lap of 1:27.476 was scored on intermediate tyres in the second half of the session as early rain gave way to an emerging dry line. As the times tumbled, the Venezuelan recorded his lap just a few minutes before another rain shower hit the circuit.
At the end of the session, Nico Rosberg was second, just eight hundredths of a second behind the Williams man. Sebastian Vettel was third, four tenths further back.
Heavy rain at the start of proceedings meant there was little activity initially, and more than 20 minutes elapsed before Jean-Eric Vergne, Nico Rosberg and Charles Pic tip-toed onto the circuit to test the conditions.
As the rain held off, Rosberg was the first to move to intermediates and as his lap times improved, everybody followed suit, with Maldonado eventually setting his session-topping time.
When the rains came again, there were inevitably mishaps. Daniel Ricciardo spun his Toro Rosso into the gravel at Turn 13, the corner where Valtteri Bottas had crashed his Williams in the morning session. Ricciardo was lucky to get away with no major damage to his car, but moments later Michael Schumacher was not as fortunate.
The Mercedes drive lost control on the exit of Turn 12. His car was pitched into the barriers, with both ends of the car sustaining damage.