World championship leader Lewis Hamilton became the biggest victim of a wet opening practice session at the German GP, binning his car against the tyre wall exiting turn three.
The Briton almost caught the first slide, but the slick track then pitched him onto the grass and heavily into the barriers, ripping off the nose and left rear corner. Luckily Lewis was unhurt, but he faces a race against time to make it out in the day’s second session, with McLaren anxious to evaluate their blown diffuser.
Meanwhile, Force India’s Adrian Sutil set the benchmark at 1min 25.701 and secured a margin in excess of a second over the next fastest man, Felipe Massa.
The Ferrari driver spent most of the session rotating at various points on the circuit, but still managed to find a clear lap faster than everyone bar Sutil. Underlining the German’s inspired timing, the pack behind Massa remained closely bunched, with the next five drivers – including Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Vitaly Petrov and Nico Rosberg – all within six-tenths of each other.
Sebastien Buemi, Nico Hulkenberg, Sutil’s Force India team-mate Tonio Liuzzi and Pedro de la Rosa rounded out the top 10, although the Spaniard was fully 2.7secs adrift of the ultimate pace to highlight how much of an effect the conditions were having.