British GP at Silverstone: Rain affects practice sessions

RAIN dominated proceedings at Silverstone today, as Marussia Virgin Racing got their British Grand Prix underway.

With times largely meaningless due to the conditions, Jerome d’Ambrosio was 23rd in the first practice session, and improved to 19th in the afternoon, just 0.169 seconds behind Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Team-mate Timo Glock was 21st fastest in the morning and dropped down a place later in the day.

Despite the frustration of rain delays and a wet track, team boss John Booth refused to let conditions dampen his enthusiasm.

“You arrive here, the fans are about and the atmosphere is great, the camp sites are full.”

“Today we learned a bit about the track and the tyres, and the new garages are great to work out of,” he said.

But he admitted that he was hopeful for a mix of weather conditions for tomorrow’s third practice session and qualifying.

“A mix would help us, Timo excels in those conditions and we can use the ‘Timo factor’.”

With teams at the top end of the grid squabbling over a rule change over the use of off-throttle blowing of diffusers, the Dinnington team boss was keen to keep life simple in the Virgin garage.

“It doesn’t affect the way we run our car.”

“We stay out of any politics so it’s quite nice. Eventually we might get dragged into it but we’ll avoid it as long as possible.”

Mark Webber set the pace in the morning’s session, lapping his Red Bull car in 1m 46.603. But it was no smooth sailing for the Australian, who finished the practice with an undisclosed problem.

The first practice session also saw Michael Schumacher up with the pace, followed by Rubens Barrichello. McLaren’s duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button finished two seconds behind the leader in what was a frustrating day for the two Brits, as neither improved on their morning’s time.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa set the best time in the afternoon’s practice with 1m 49.967.

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