May 25 2013 Latest news:
By Alan Davies, Formula One correspondent
Friday, July 20, 2012
FORMULA 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were happy with McLaren’s upgrades for the 2012 German Grand Prix at a wet Hockenheim circuit.
"I feel positive that we can do something good this weekend."
Button went quickest in first practice today (Friday) with a time of 1m 16.595s ahead of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes teammate Hamilton.
The Hertfordshire-born motor racer was second on the timesheets this morning with a lap of 1m 17.093s.
Hamilton, 27, was only 19th in a rain-hit second session. Nevertheless, McLaren’s two former F1 world champions both felt the car’s new parts worked well.
Hamilton, whose family live in Tewin, said: “The men and women back at the factory did an incredible job to get all the upgrades to the track this weekend – they all deserve a big pat on the back for that.
* Race distance: 67 laps (190.414 miles/306.458km)
* Start time: 14:00 (local)/13:00 GMT
* Circuit length: 2.842 miles/4.574km
* 2010 winner: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 67 laps in 1hr27m38.864s (209.788km/h)
* 2010 pole: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 1m13.791s (223.149km/h)
* Lap record: Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren Mercedes MP4-19) 1m13.780s (223.182km/h)
“It’s quite a positive step: it’s still difficult to accurately predict what sort of a step we’ve taken as we couldn’t back-to-back between the old and new components, but it’s definitely a step forward.”
Despite rain showers restricting track time at Hockenheim, Button said: “We got some good running under our belts today.
“Conditions weren’t perfect, but the forecast looks the same for tomorrow; so it was a very useful session for us and I think we gathered some useful data in terms of comparative tyre and set-up work.”
He added: “I think we should be happy with most of the parts we’ve put on today – most of them worked correctly – so it’s nice to see the improvement.
“I want to say a big ‘well done’ to the guys at the factory, they’ve done a great job. Hopefully we’ll be able to see the improvement in performance throughout the rest of the weekend.”
After being off the pace at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh felt there were “some encouraging signs” out in Germany.
He said: “We implemented a number of measures to improve wet-weather performance and I’m pleased to say that we appear to have made progress in that area.
“More pleasingly, our planned series of upgrades delivered without issue and have given us confidence for the remainder of the weekend.”
Qualifying for the 2012 Santander German Grand Prix starts at 1pm on Saturday.
* To see pictures of McLaren’s updated MP4-27, click on the photo gallery above right.