Grosjean leads the way in free practice
Frenchman on top in Germany
Romain Grosjean has picked up where he left off in Silverstone by claiming the top spot in free practice this morning at the Nurburgring, leading all through the session to finish 0.7 ahead of Dani Clos and Jules Bianchi.
The Frenchman’s best laptime of 1:40.484 was set just ten minutes into the session, improving on his own times to garrison the top of the timesheets throughout, and handing his rivals an unanswerable challenge in the time remaining.
The session opened under overcast and cold conditions, but at least the rain held off as the 26 cars headed out on track: Grosjean was the first man to set a competitive time, with Esteban Gutierrez, Clos and Christian Vietoris pushing hard to catch up until Grosjean set his best lap, putting over a second on everyone else in the field.
Title rival Giedo van der Garde was unable to do anything about the Frenchman after suffering from a mechanical gremlin: the Dutchman limped back to the pits but his session was clearly over as most of the grid came in behind him for fresh rubber. One man who didn’t return, though, was Davide Valsecchi, who was trying to take advantage of the clear track but ran wide at the final turn and found the wall.
With many of the drivers looking to finalise race set ups there was no improvement on lap times in the second half of the session, other than Clos grabbing P2 with a minute remaining: Luca Filippi and Charles Pic were just behind the top three, with Gutierrez, Fabio Leimer, Jolyon Palmer, Stefano Coletti and Alvaro Parente rounding out the top ten.
But with most of the field keeping their powder dry in the session, this afternoon’s qualifying session should give a much clearer indication of their pace at the fabled circuit.
|2||D. Clos||Racing Engineering||1:41.222||+ 0.738 s||13|
|3||J. Bianchi||Lotus ART||1:41.326||+ 0.842 s||13|
|4||L. Filippi||Scuderia Coloni||1:41.330||+ 0.846 s||13|
|5||C. Pic||Barwa Addax Team||1:41.411||+ 0.927 s||12|
|6||E. Gutierrez||Lotus ART||1:41.426||+ 0.942 s||13|
|7||F. Leimer||Rapax||1:41.616||+ 1.132 s||14|
|8||J. Palmer||Arden International||1:41.716||+ 1.232 s||13|
|9||S. Coletti||Trident Racing||1:41.748||+ 1.264 s||12|
|10||A. Parente||Carlin||1:41.834||+ 1.350 s||13|
|11||C. Vietoris||Racing Engineering||1:41.863||+ 1.379 s||13|
|12||L. Razia||Caterham Team AirAsia||1:41.936||+ 1.452 s||14|
|13||S. Bird||iSport International||1:41.971||+ 1.487 s||11|
|14||G. Van Der Garde||Barwa Addax Team||1:42.049||+ 1.565 s||6|
|15||M. Herck||Scuderia Coloni||1:42.077||+ 1.593 s||14|
|16||K. Mirocha||Ocean Racing Technology||1:42.213||+ 1.729 s||12|
|17||R. Gonzalez||Trident Racing||1:42.248||+ 1.764 s||13|
|18||M. Ericsson||iSport International||1:42.250||+ 1.766 s||11|
|19||J. Kral||Arden International||1:42.312||+ 1.828 s||12|
|20||F. Fauzy||Super Nova Racing||1:42.335||+ 1.851 s||13|
|21||M. Chilton||Carlin||1:42.380||+ 1.896 s||9|
|22||A. Carroll||Super Nova Racing||1:42.471||+ 1.987 s||13|
|23||D. Valsecchi||Caterham Team AirAsia||1:42.641||+ 2.157 s||8|
|24||P. Varhaug||DAMS||1:42.673||+ 2.189 s||13|
|25||J. Leal||Rapax||1:42.927||+ 2.443 s||14|
|26||J. Cecotto||Ocean Racing Technology||1:43.032||+ 2.548 s||14|
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