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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » British Grand Prix: Rain puts a dampener on practice

British Grand Prix: Rain puts a dampener on practice

July 06, 2012 20:10 IST

Steady rain put a dampener on practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday with Romain Grosjean lapping fastest for Lotus in clouds of spray as fans huddled in the grandstands and under umbrellas.

Campsites were waterlogged and parking lots full of puddles, with traffic jams tailing back for miles on approach roads as organisers put contingency plans into effect to limit the effects of the weather.

Despite the delays and frustration, with many spectators unable to access the circuit in time for the opening session, there was no denying the enthusiasm of those who made it in.

They thronged the circuit in their tens of thousands, the grandstands looking fuller than on race day at some sunnier circuits, while drivers tentatively took to the glistening track.

"Bit of swimming today only 6 laps in FP1! UK weather is just unreal," declared Marussia's German driver Timo Glock on Twitter.

Grosjean's best lap of one minute 56.552 seconds was largely meaningless in a session that made staying on the asphalt a challenge.

Moments after he had completed that lap, the Frenchman found himself tracking across the grass at Becketts.

Toro Rosso's Australian Daniel Ricciardo was second on the timing screens, with a time 0.275 seconds slower, while McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was third.

Hamilton, whose 2008 victory makes him the last British driver to win his home race, completed only six laps in the 90 minute session.

That was more than Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso, who did four installation laps without setting a time.

"The conditions are pretty dodgy to say the least," said Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber, who did seven laps and was sixth fastest.

"We don't want to do a thousand laps today because the forecast looks pretty dodgy for the weekend and we need these tyres."

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