MCLAREN PAIR Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the first practice session for the German Grand Prix today.
The English drivers were using some updates to their MP4-27s on track for the first time and were the quickest by some distance in an impressive showing.
Regular rain meant conditions were difficult but it was Button — who zipped around the Hockenheim circuit in a best time of 1 minute 16.595 seconds — who was fastest. Hamilton (+0.498s) was next best while world championship leader, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (+0.775s) of Spain, was third quickest.
German Michael Schumacher (+0.787s) impressed for Mercedes in front of his home crowd while Sauber’s Mexican driver, Sergio Perez (+0.818s) rounded out the top five. Finishing more than a second behind Button were Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg (+1.004s), Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg (+1.320s), Ferrari’s Felipe Massa (+1.400s), Williams’ Pastor Maldonado (+1.425s) and Romain Grosjean (+1.535s) of Lotus.
Red Bull pairing Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber finished 12th and 20th-fastest respectively. The second session of practice begins at 2pm (local time), with a third practice session and qualifying to take place on Saturday.