McLaren's Lewis Hamilton has admitted he was 'concerned' fans didn't get to see much track action today during practice for the F1 2012 British Grand Prix.
Wet weather left many drivers in the pits for a large portion of both P1 and P2, in part because conditions were so bad and also because teams opted to go into tyre conservation mode, given the forecast for the rest of the weekend is much the same. As such most wanted to save the wet tyres – only three sets are allocated per weekend, something Lewis believes needs reviewing.
In the end, Hamilton himself did just 6 laps in P1 and 8 in P2, although the home fans will be boosted by the fact he ended up quickest, staking an early claim for the Silverstone honours.
“I had some fun out there today! I got to do a good few laps too, which was good, because I was concerned that the fans wouldn't get to see much action,” Hamilton reflected. “There were so many of them out there today. I can't remember seeing so many people at a racetrack on a Friday before – it was incredible. British F1 fans are the best in the world!
“I would like to have gone out and done even more laps – but we simply didn't have enough tyres to do that. Perhaps that's something we can look at for the future.
“There was a lot of standing water out there, and tons of aquaplaning. That's to be expected when there's heavy rain, of course, but I have to say that there doesn't seem to be that much drainage around the circuit. You're aquaplaning almost all the time, to be honest, so you need to be very in tune with your senses or you're very likely to lose control.
“I think the drivers can probably make more of a difference in the wet than we can in the dry, so I'm really looking forward to the rest of the weekend, which looks likely to stay chilly and wet.”
Team-mate Jenson Button meanwhile was eighth quickest on the combined times in the sister car. He added that standing water made conditions very treacherous.
“It was very tricky out there – there was lots of standing water. You wouldn't want to be racing wheel-to-wheel in those conditions, as you wouldn't see the puddles until it was too late,” he explained.
“I think we learned throughout the day where the biggest rivers on the circuit were situated – one of the biggest is along the Hangar Straight just before Stowe. You're travelling at 290km/h [180mph] and you hit a river that gives you wheelspin – at that speed – and when that happens your car can snap out of control very easily.
“When you're driving alone, it's not so bad, because you can pick your way around and lift off whenever necessary, but in the race you can't do that.
“So, pretty obviously, I hope there won't be as much standing water around on Sunday,” he concluded.