• German Grand Prix - FP2

Maldonado quickest in wet as Schumacher crashes

ESPN Staff
July 20, 2012
Pastor Maldonado was quickest but times were over ten seconds slower than FP1 © Sutton Images

Pastor Maldonado set the fastest time of a wet FP2 at Hockenheim as Michael Schumacher crashed to end the session early.

Maldonado set a time of 1:27.476 on intermediate tyres as track conditions improved throughout the session following a torrential downpour as FP2 got under way. Maldonado was just 0.088s quicker than Nico Rosberg, while Sebastian Vettel was third quickest on a 1:27.902 as the times were dependent on getting the best of the track conditions.

A dry line had appeared to the extent that teams were thinking about slick tyres when more rain fell with 20 minutes to go. Following a brief pause, drivers took to the track again but Schumacher got caught out on intermediate tyres, losing the rear of his Mercedes exiting turn 12 and sliding in to the tyres, heavily damaging both ends of the car and ending the session prematurely with four minutes to go.

Bruno Senna was the only man to head out in the first ten minutes due to the heavy rain, completing an installation lap after his car was rebuilt during lunchtime following Valtteri Bottas' morning crash.

Twenty minutes in to the session a break in the weather saw a number of cars head out on track. Rosberg was the first man out on intermediate tyres and was immediately quickest, albeit by a small margin. He soon improved considerably though, showing a 1m38s lap time is roughly the cut-off point between intermediate tyres and full wets.

As drivers pushed to improve before the second band of forecast rain hit the circuit, Nico Hulkenberg - sixth quickest behind Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean - span at turn one. His Force India completed two full rotations after he lost the car on the outside kerb exiting the corner, but he was able to continue.

The rain then returned with 20 minutes of the session still to run and ensured the times didn't improve, though a number of drivers went out to gather more data on both the intermediate and the wet tyres. Daniel Ricciardo was the next man to push too hard, locking his front tyres in to turn 13 and sliding off in to the gravel. While he was unable to continue he didn't damage the car and Schumacher's off meant he missed little running in a session where teams will have learnt little about their updates and car set-ups.