Button heads rain-disrupted Germany first practice

Button may have taken another step towards curing his recent poor pace

Button may have taken another step towards curing his recent poor pace

The rain once again made a mockery of the Formula 1 paddock, as the German Grand Prix weekend opened to persistent showers and rain. It was Jenson Button who took top spot, as he set his times early, avoiding the rain showers later on.

Teammate Lewis Hamilton was nearly half a second behind, with McLaren testing new sidepods for this weekend. Lewis’ time came at the end of the session, when the track began to dry out.

Williams test driver Valterri Bottas almost beat Button’s time, but a crash in the Stadium section at the end of his lap left him 13th overall.

While Pirelli attempted to run their experimental hard tyre today, the rain ruled out much signs of usable data. Mark Webber set his fastest time on the developing compound, but was 3.5 seconds off the pace in 20th place.

Lotus have brought a raft of upgrades to this Grand Prix, the most interesting being two “ear” intakes on each side of the engine intake. Kimi Raikkonen spent most of FP1 doing short runs, rarely setting a fast time. A “double DRS” system was planned to be raced, but after today’s washout the team have decided not to run the device.

Times from FP1:

 1.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1:16.595          27
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1:17.093  +0.498  22
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1:17.370  +0.775  21
 4.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1:17.382  +0.787  20
 5.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari          1:17.413  +0.818  28
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    1:17.599  +1.004  17
 7.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1:17.915  +1.320  27
 8.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1:17.995  +1.400  22
 9.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault        1:18.020  +1.425  20
10.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault           1:18.130  +1.535  21
11.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1:18.226  +1.631  22
12.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1:18.339  +1.744  21
13.  Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault        1:18.422  +1.827  28
14.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1:18.709  +2.114  30
15.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault           1:18.831  +2.236  14
16.  Jules Bianchi         Force India-Mercedes    1:18.972  +2.377  21
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1:19.039  +2.444  34
18.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault        1:19.674  +3.079  24
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault        1:19.963  +3.368  24
20.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1:20.122  +3.527  27
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth       1:20.169  +3.574  20
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth       1:20.539  +3.944  18
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth            1:21.138  +4.543  24
24.  Dani Clos             HRT-Cosworth            1:21.740  +5.145  27
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