McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton went fastest in the rain-affected FP2 session.
With the bad weather continuing from the morning, Hamilton’s time of 1m56.345s was just two-tenths quicker than Romain Grosjean’s pacesetting time in the equally wet morning session.
Few drivers ventured out onto track at the start of the session but activity gradually increased as the rain eased off in the last 40 minutes. There was a delay when Bruno Senna crashed his Williams heavily at Brooklands. The red flags interrupted proceedings for ten minutes while the car was recovered; the Brazilian emerged unhurt from the accident.
At the resumption Kamui Kobayashi took top spot for Sauber, only to be deposed moments later by Hamilton and that was how it stayed. With 15 laps to his name, the Japanese driver did the most laps of anyone. Like several others, Kobayashi briefly attempted to run on the intermediate tyres towards the end of the session, but admitted conditions were too wet for them. “In the end I took a set of intermediate tyres, but only to get a feeling for them. It was definitely too wet for them. Generally the circuit tends to develop little rivers here and there, and even on the straights you have to be very careful not to lose the car by aquaplaning. It seems we will be having a wet weekend and this might not be the worst thing for us.”
Kobayashi’s team-mate Sergio Pérez took fifth position, though not without drama, having a late spin in the other Sauber. He wasn’t the only one, with plenty of drivers going off and bringing back to the garage very dirty cars that had taken a trip through the mud. Most significantly, championship leader Fernando Alonso managed to lose the nose of his Ferrari as the chequered flag came out.
Behind Hamilton and Kobayashi, third and fourth quickest were the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg respectively. After Pérez came Jenson Button sixth, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen for Caterham, doing his usual good job in the wet. Eighth was Kimi Räikkönen, ninth Nico Hulkenberg and tenth Alonso. Paul di Resta was 11th, ahead of Pastor Maldonado. 13th was World Champion Sebastian Vettel, behind him Jean-Eric Vergne and Felipe Massa. Timo Glock was 16th for Marussia, ahead of Bruno Senna who managed only six laps. Vitaly Petrov was 18th, Charles Pic 19th and Narain Karthikeyan 20th. The remaining quartet of morning pacesetter Grosjean, Daniel Ricciardo, Mark Webber and Pedro de la Rosa did not post times.