Defending drivers world champion Lewis Hamilton of Britain clocked the fastest time yesterday afternoon’s second free practice session ahead of tomorrow’s German Grand Prix.
It was the third time in this disappointing season — for him — that the 24-year-old Englishman had been quickest on the opening day in his McLaren Mercedes, having been fastest previously on Friday in Bahrain and China.
Cynics, however, may suggest that with his McLaren teammate Finn Heikki Kovalainen struggling in 17th place on a cool, wet day, Hamilton was running very light on fuel to please the fans sitting in the Mercedes-Benz grandstand.
Hamilton clocked a best time of 1 minute, 32.149 seconds with six minutes remaining to ease clear of nearest rival German Sebastian Vettel, in his Red Bull, by two-tenths of a second.
Championship leader Briton Jenson Button was third for Brawn GP ahead of Australian Mark Webber, in the second Red Bull, with Italian Jarno Trulli fifth for Toyota and German Adrian Sutil sixth for Force India.
Button’s Brawn teammate Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello was seventh ahead of two-times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Renault.
The two Ferraris of Brazilian Felipe Massa and Finn Kimi Raikkonen were 12th and 16th, unable to match the pace-setters on a dismal day for them and many of the spectators as the weather took its toll in the Eiffel mountains.
The afternoon session was punctuated by rainfall and the conditions were more favorable to the Red Bulls than Brawn as the track temperature crept slowly up from 16ºC in the morning to 24ºC in the afternoon.
• La New Bears 7,
Sinon Bulls 3
• Brother Elephants 6,
Uni-President Lions 3
• Sinon Bulls v La New Bears
• Brother Elephants v