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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2008 BRITISH GRAND PRIX - FRIDAY PRACTICE
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Friday Practice
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
08:30 Good morning and welcome to autosport.com Live, for round nine of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship - the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Today on autosport.com Live we will be bring you text commentary and updates from the Friday practice sessions. The schedule looks like this:

08:30 - 09:00 Setting the scene to ease you into the Formula One weekend.
09:00 - 10:30 Live commentary and updates from the morning practice session.
10:30 - 13:00 Continuing track and weather updates and any breaking news from the circuit.
13:00 - 14:30 Live commentary and updates from the second practice session of the day.
14:30 - 15:00 End of day reaction and round-up, where we go from here, and what to look out for on Saturday.
15:00 Autosport.com Live commentary ends for today.

08:32 You can join in the fun by chatting live with other autosport.com forum members.

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to join the debate.

08:35 The first day of action is set to take place in reasonable conditions, but this will not set the tone for the remainder of the weekend.

Early morning sunshine will gradually become sunny periods as some cloudcover moves in as the day develops. The two sessions will remain dry however, with a maximum air temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

Track temperatures later in the afternoon are expected to vary, as the sun moves in and out of the clouds. There will be a very light breeze, fluctuating between 3-5 mph coming from the south-west.

For those of you watching the weather forecasts for Saturday and Sunday with interest, we will look into the chances of rain, how, where and why in detail later this afternoon, on the weather page in autosport.com Live, shortly after the end of Friday's live practice coverage.

08:40 The championship reaches the mid-point of the season this weekend and understandably the headline throughout the world for this event is Lewis Hamilton in his home race. Once the media gaze is peeled away, there is no escaping the fact that Ferrari arrive here on the crest of a wave and are in dominant form.

Two weeks ago the French Grand Prix was a Tour de Force for the Maranello-based squad. Felipe Massa inherited victory after teammate Kimi Raikkonen suffered an exhaust problem midway through the 70 lap race. Ferraris are built tough as well as fast, and the World Champion may have had to back off the pace a little in order to finish, but he treated his machinery as delicately as possible and earned Ferrari a one-two result - extending their lead in the constructors' championship in the process.

Massa's victory at Magny Cours powered him to the top of the drivers' standings with a total of 48 points. Three drivers are within 10 points of the Brazilian's score. Robert Kubica lies a superb second in the table on 46 points, with Raikkonen on 43 and the local hero Hamilton on 38 points.

Ferrari's form with two very capable drivers sees them leading the Constructors' Championship with 91 points. They lead BMW Sauber by 17 points, with McLaren Mercedes already a sizable 33 points adrift. Recent form would suggest that Ferrari will be extremely hard to beat this weekend at the home of British motor racing.

The level of competition throughout the sport this year has been phenomenal. Behind the top trio of teams, the midfield battle is closer than ever before. Just one small error in qualifying can make the difference between starting in the top 10 places and having a good chance to score points, or not making it through the first section of qualifying, starting near the back and enduring a very difficult afternoon's work.

Further proof of this came at the Circuit de Nevers two weeks ago. Although the Ferraris were dominant up front, no less than 13 drivers from seven teams finished on the lead lap in a race with no safety car period. Nick Heidfeld suffered a nightmare qualifying session, starting outside the top ten and was unable to make any headway whatsoever during the race, finishing in that 13th place - but he was only 33.8 seconds behind Jarno Trulli, who scored a podium.

Another astonishing aspect in the championship this season is the general reliability of the cars. The teams are turning out very robust machinery in 2008, with Jenson Button's Honda the only retirement from that competitive race in France.

So the sport descends on Silverstone this weekend, back to the roots of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Lewis Hamilton may steal the show in the media, but learned enthusiasts are all waiting to see what happens when the red cars take to the track later today, and throughout the weekend.

08:45 Today's practice action could get off to a slow start due to an extensive three-day test at this circuit last week, attended by all ten teams and almost the entire field of race drivers.

Lewis Hamilton came out on top of the timesheets with a 1:19.170 effort on the final day, with Timo Glock second quickest in 1:19.815. Felipe Massa set the best Ferrari time of 1:20.188 and Kimi Raikkonen followed that up with a 1:20.321 later in the week.

While the times may hint at the potential for a strong challenge from the ever-improving McLaren MP4/23, a number of factors - such as relative fuel loads - make it difficult to draw conclusions from the test times.

The drivers are likely to find the track in a far worse condition this morning after a recent spell of unsettled weather will have washed the Formula One rubber from the racing surface.

The prospect of further rain throughout the weekend may be another factor limiting the desire for the teams to run in the dry today.

08:50 There are 10 minutes to go before the British Grand Prix weekend from Silverstone begins.

08:52 Giancarlo Fisichella will be relieved to hear that he has been given the go-ahead to race in Silverstone, following a heavy crash in the test last week:

Fisichella given all-clear to race

08:57 On a sunny morning in Silverstone with some patchy cloud, the track temperature is 18c, just one marker above the ambient

08:59 Nick Heidfeld sits in his BMW Sauber, making sure that everything is as he wants ahead of the start of the first session.

0 min: The practice session is underway.

1 min: Our standard Friday openers Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil leave the Force India garage and are the first drivers to join the racetrack.

2 min: Installation laps are in progress as 10 drivers have taken to the circuit, in front of a large Friday crowd.

3 min: Fan favourite Lewis Hamilton emerges from the pit lane for a look around the circuit with the softer tyre on his McLaren.

5 min: The drivers will come out for one lap to perform a systems check with their cars. They will then return to the pitlane where the telemetry data from the car will be analysed by the engineers, as well as the drivers' feedback.

7 min: 15 drivers have taken to the circuit for that installation lap so far. Rubens Barrichello makes it 16 as he returns to the Honda garage.

8 min: Sebastien Vettel is chatting to his engineer on the radio. He is mentioning some issues with the gear change on his Toro Rosso and steps out of the car while the team investigate.

9 min: Jarno Trulli comes out onto the circuit to check over his Toyota.

Only the two Ferrari drivers and Timo Glock in the second Toyota have yet to run.

9 min: Trulli returns to pitlane and the Silverstone circuit falls silent.

12 min: Nick Heidfeld is relaxed and watching over his crew in the BMW garage as he sits on the tool trolleys.

Kimi Raikkonen arrives in the Ferrari garage. His facial expression almost gives the impression that some noise in the last few minutes has woken him up.

13 min: Still no action on track yet, as the field continue to bide their time.

16 min: Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello are chatting together in the back of the Honda garage, looking very relaxed, overalls around their waists.

16 min: Sebastian Vettel breaks the silence and the Toro Rosso joins the racetrack.

17 min: The young German has already completed an installation lap earlier, so we expect him to start a run of timed laps this time.

17 min: Vettel crosses start-finish and begins the first timed lap of the race weekend.

18 min: He is currently the only driver on track, as Lewis Hamilton watches on from the McLaren garage.

18 min: Vettel completes that first lap with a time of 1:22.972.

20 min: Vettel comes into the pitlane on the following lap, having set one timed lap.

No cars on track.

24 min: Kimi Raikkonen is now aboard his Ferrari and is preparing to go out for the first time today.

24 min: Kazuki Nakajima joins the racetrack for a run in his Williams-Toyota.

25 min: The Japanese driver crosses start-finish and begins his first timed lap of the race meeting.

25 min: After that flying lap, Sebastian Vettel reports on the team radio that there is a lot of grip and track conditions are good.

26 min: Nakajima has a moment as he attempts to put the power down on the road exiting Brooklands. He corrects the car and completes the lap with a time of 1:24.503.

28 min: Adrian Sutil immediately slots his Force India into second place ahead of Nakajima, and on the following lap goes one better to top the list so far with a 1:22.644.

30 min: Sutil continues on for a third lap but gets it all wrong in the first part of Becketts. Adrian turned in aggressively but the rear of the car wouldn't stick, and the rear end stepped out going through the middle of the complex. He corrected the steering but ran out of road very quickly and took a trip across the grass.

30 min: Jarno Trulli is the next man to top the timesheet on a 1:21.651. The Italian will be hoping to follow up on that strong podium position in France.

32 min: Timo Glock has spun exiting Brooklands. Like Nakajima earlier, he was attempting to apply the power on the short run to Luffield and lost control of the Toyota. Glock spun round 360 degrees and continued without damage.

33 min: Nico Rosberg goes second in the order despite a out-of-control rear end exiting Brooklands.

Timo Glock has recovered from that off-track moment to top the list on a 1:21.125.

34 min: Kimi Raikkonen is now on track with the harder tyre choice on his Ferrari.

36 min: Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are moving toward their respective cars in the pitlane. Button is sporting a colour scheme change on his crash helmet this weekend with a distinctly British design with an arty Union Jack on the side.

36 min: Raikkonen's first effort is a 1:21.089 putting him immediately quickest after a strong time in the final sector.

37 min: Raikkonen continues to set a 1:20.230, despite encountering traffic in the form of Heikki Kovalainen's McLaren.

38 min: Nelson Piquet clocks the fastest second sector time of all on his way to a 1:20.871 which puts him second to the flying Raikkonen.

38 min: Kimi continues to attack the benchmark and improves further to a 1:20.085.

40 min: Heikki Kovalainen takes the fight to his compatriot and breaks into the 1:19s with a 1:19.919, fractions quicker than Raikkonen's latest effort.

41 min: Lewis Hamilton has joined the fray and sets a 1:20.231 for third after an oversteer moment in Brooklands.

41 min: Mark Webber has come out onto the circuit and has moved into sixth position so far with a 1:21.297. Sixth became seventh after that initial lap from Lewis Hamilton.

43 min: Mark Webber improves on his next lap with a 1:21.039. That puts him fifth behind Nelson Piquet, but Sebastian Vettel sets a 1:20.872 to move ahead of the Australian.

43 min: Hamilton again comes through Brooklands with the rear-end of his McLaren sliding wildly but under control.

The time is quick - 1:19.916 - but teammate Kovalainen is further into his stint and goes even better with a 1:19.682.

45 min: With half the practice session gone, the McLarens are showing signs of a real battle against Ferrari so far. Heikki Kovalainen tops the timesheet with a 1:19.682. Hamilton is second, followed by Raikkonen, Vettel, Piquet, Webber, and Timo Glock in seventh.

47 min: Both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa now take to the track after taking a very casual approach to the start of practice.

47 min: The not shy but retiring David Coulthard has come out onto the track for his first run of laps. His first effort included a wild moment exiting Luffield as he used all the available track. On the following lap he moves into sixth position with a time of 1:20.893, demoting teammate Webber to seventh.

50 min: Felipe Massa's first attempt is a 1:20.199, putting him fourth in the order so far.

51 min: Robert Kubica has joined the track for his first meaningful run of laps in the BMW Sauber. His first timed lap is ruined by Felipe Massa, who inadvertently held up the Pole in the complex.

Kubica's next effort is without incident and he moves into seventh place with a 1:20.694.

52 min: Fernando Alonso has moved into ninth position after his first flyer of the weekend, but he improves further on the following lap and the Spaniard is now fifth on a 1:20.436, three-quarters of a second away from Kovalainen's benchmark so far.

53 min: Felipe Massa now has his Ferrari fully up to temperature and the Brazilian jumps to the top of the standings with a 1:19.575 on the harder tyre.

55 min: Fernando Alonso has slowed to a stop and is climbing out of his Renault.

57 min: Felipe Massa has crashed at Stowe.

57 min: The session has been stopped.

58 min: Massive accident for the Brazilian who is completely unharmed and stands looking at the remains of his Ferrari.

58 min: Fernando Alonso's retirement from the session at Stowe appears to have put oil on the circuit, catching out both Timo Glock and Felipe Massa.

61 min: Fernando Alonso's stoppage at the entrance to Stowe was caused by a suspected engine problem. Timo Glock then came through that area of track and ran wide onto the extra tarmac area. Glock rejoined without any problem.

Massa was one of the next drivers to come down the Hangar straight at full speed, and when he hit the brakes the rear of the Ferrari snapped round instantly.

61 min: Felipe Massa has been chatting with Fernando Alonso as the pair await a lift back to the pits in the Medical Car.

Massa has no apparent injuries after that massive rear-end impact.

62 min: Massa had absolutely no chance to control the car and went off into the Stowe gravel trap at full speed, smashing backwards into the tyre barrier on the outside.

Massa as we have said looks to be perfectly fine, but the rear end of his Ferrari is heavily damaged.

63 min: Felipe Massa's Ferrari is being craned away from the tyre wall at Stowe and there is little left of the rear end of the car.

65 min: Replays of Alonso's demise show a puff of smoke before the Renault began to emit a trail of oil on the flat-out approach to Stowe.

Alonso suffered a massive engine failure during practice in France, although today's problem could be due to other oil systems such as the hydraulics.

67 min: Marshals are now applying a trail of dust on the trail of oil. A pair of roadsweepers have arrived on scene and a lengthy clean-up is expected.

The time will continue to count down to the end of the session, which is now only 23 minutes away.

69 min: A fantastic demonstration of team radio at BMW as Robert Kubica and his race engineer discuss what to do when the session restarts.

Robert's race engineer informed him that some cement powder would be put down over the trail of oil at the end of the Hangar straight, and that they would like the driver to go out when the session restarts soon.

Kubica then said that he would not like to go out and clean the track for the others.

His engineer's response was to reassure him that this was only to check over how the track is in terms of grip.

Kubica's reply was classic, informing his engineer that it is obvious the track will not be ok, so why go out in the first place?

The radio transmission then stopped with the pair no doubt continuing the debate.

72 min: The marshals at Stowe have almost completed laying down the cement dust to clean up the oil trail left by Fernando Alonso's Renault. Two roadsweeping machines are now brushing that powder heavily into the tarmac so that it soaks up as much of the oil as possible.

73 min: Race control: Session will restart at 11:15.

74 min: Felipe Massa's Ferrari has now arrived in the paddock on the back of a flat-bed truck.

The team will have a major job on their hands to get that car out again later today, with the complete rear-end of the Ferrari needing to be replaced.

Massa is fortunate that his incident has come on a Friday when both engine and gearbox can be changed without penalty.

75 min: The session has restarted.

76 min: With 13 minutes remaining in the first practice session of the weekend, Felipe Massa heads the list with a 1:19.575 - but clearly the Brazilian won't be taking any further part in this session. Heikki Kovalainen is second, followed by Hamilton, Raikkonen, Kubica and Alonso, who similarly won't be coming out again after a suspected engine failure that led to the subsequent Massa crash.

77 min: Giancarlo Fisichella has taken to the track, along with Nick Heidfeld.

A plume of dust is flung into the air as Fisichella moves to avoid the oil patch on the approach to Stowe.

A slow conclusion to the session is in prospect.

79 min: A few drivers have ventured out onto the track since the session restarted.

The racing line for around 100 yards at the approach to Stowe corner is covered in cement dust, and Fisichella is the first to take the plunge, but stays well wide of the cement line understandably.

The line is now heavily compromised for the drivers who are out there completing timed laps.

80 min: Despite tricky track conditions, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen is out on circuit.

Fisichella's first flying lap was a 1:23.810, well over a second slower than his best so far.

82 min: Felipe Massa has arrived back in the Ferrari garage, and immediately he is involved in deep discussion with his race engineer Rob Smedley.

The pair look very concerned as they survey the damage to the rear of the Ferrari, which has been back in the garage for some minutes.

82 min: Kimi Raikkonen's first flying lap after the restart is a 1:22.150, over two seconds off his best.

Lewis Hamilton is back on circuit and chose to run directly over the strip of white cement on the approach to Stowe on his out lap, causing a huge plume of dust.

84 min: Lewis Hamilton sets a 1:20.028, within a tenth of his best time. Hamilton has been notably keen to use all of the dirty area down at Stowe.

85 min: Hamilton continues to improve, clocking a 1:19.623 to move up to second quickest.

85 min: Jarno Trulli is on the gas early, trying to power out of the long right-handed Club corner. The rear end of the car doesn't grip and breaks traction, which Jarno corrects.

He has returned to the pits and there are four minutes remaining in the session.

88 min: Giancarlo Fisichella runs wide a touch exiting Priory. This compromised his entry for Brooklands and the Italian is off and in the gravel. Fisichella rejoined and completed the lap, losing 17 seconds in that incident.

89 min: There is little improvement in times as this session draws to a close, with drivers continuing to avoid the mess from Fernando Alonso's oil.

90 min: The session has ended. Cars that have already started a lap may complete it.

10:30 Kazuki Nakajima sets his fastest time of the session, but cannot move up from a lowly 16th position with a time of 1:21.282.

10:31 Heikki Kovalainen is going for a late time and it is a good one - 1:19.587 but is just a fraction short of Massa's benchmark, putting the Finn second in the final classification.

10:33 Felipe Massa tops the timesheet after the first session of practice at Silverstone. His time of 1:19.575 withstood that late challenge from Kovalainen. The home hero Lewis Hamilton was third, followed by Raikkonen, Kubica, Alonso and Sebastian Vettel in seventh.

10:36 Robert Kubica climbs out of his BMW Sauber, takes his helmet off and immediately turns to the large screen inside the garage to study the times from that first session.

Test and reserve driver Christian Klien takes one look at Kubica's facial expression, and decides that now would be an excellent time to take off his headset and move somewhere else.

10:37 The report and classification on a dramatic session is now available:

Massa leads first practice despite crash

10:44 BREAKING NEWS The FIA have confirmed that Donington Park will host the British Grand Prix from 2010.

Silverstone loses British GP to Donington

10:51 Meanwhile, down in the pits at Silverstone, the GP2 series teams are preparing to head out for a practice session.

For once the Formula One crews will be happy to have some support running in the break between sessions as this will help to clean the circuit of that oil on the approach to Stowe.

11:15 As the paddock continues to digest the news of a move to Donington for the British Grand Prix, the east-midlands circuit has issued a statement:

Donington bosses promise £100m revamp

11:51 Looking at the timesheet from that first practice session, interesting links can be picked out and established based on previous race weekends.

Sebastian Vettel in seventh position, just one second off the pace with a 1:20.588, is so far employing the same tactic during the practice sessions that worked for him in Magny Cours - that of spending a lot of time going for raw speed in an effort to make it through the first period of qualifying come Saturday afternoon.

The final five in the times after the session this morning are the same five drivers who were eliminated after the first period of qualifying in France - that is to say both Hondas, both Force Indias and Kazuki Nakajima in the Williams.

It goes to show that while everything changes in Formula One, it somehow stays the same, with Honda and Force India mired at the bottom of the list so far, despite the aero tweaks and upgrades that both teams are running this weekend.

12:10 The GP2 practice session has concluded, with Romain Grosjean quickest in a typically action-packed session. Charles Bradley has the details from this morning's action:

Grosjean leads Silverstone practice

12:25 Above the circuit conditions remain dry but with an increasing amount of cloudcover. No rain is expected during the second session, which begins in 35 minutes' time.

12:48 The infobox in the right column has lots of useful facts and can be navigated using the tabs provided.

Highlights include a summary of the tyre rules, which are set to become important this weekend as extensive wet weather running is expected on the limited supply of rubber.

There are also details of the current status of each driver on the multi-race engine and gearbox rules.

12:55 With five minutes remaining before the second session, the sizable crowd - estimated to be 65,000 - are enjoying the bright sunshine, for perhaps the final time during the event, with inclement weather remaining in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

12:57 The track temperature has climbed 10 Celsius since the close of first practice to 31c.

0 min: The practice session is underway.

0 min: In the Ferrari garage, work continues on Felipe Massa's car, which suffered extensive rear end damage after that sizeable shunt at Stowe this morning.

The work is nearing completion, but it is unlikely that Massa will be ready to go out for a few minutes at least.

0 min: Timo Glock and Giancarlo Fisichella are the first to head out on to the track.

2 min: Typically the Friday afternoon session opens with a flurry of activity.

Nine drivers have joined the racetrack so far with more adding to the total.

2 min: Timo Glock is one of the first to start a timed lap in this session, but immediately he catches traffic in the Becketts complex that has just left the pits.

2 min: Fernando Alonso heads out on to the track after the Renault mechanics have repaired the problem that caused the oil to be deposited on the circuit this morning.

3 min: 14 drivers are now on the circuit as Glock completes a scruffy first lap with a time of 1:22.840.

3 min: Giancarlo Fisichella is the second driver to post a time - 1:24.263.

4 min: The early afternoon flurry is well underway as more drivers trigger the beam and put a time on the board.

Robert Kubica goes fastest with a time of 1:22.639, before Rosberg beats that with 1:22.108.

5 min: The McLarens of Hamilton and Kovalainen are heading out for their first run of the afternoon. A busier session is expected in comparison with this morning after lots of planned running was lost due to the stoppage and subsequent poor track conditions.

6 min: Fernando Alonso joined the track for one lap - most likely an installation lap to make sure everything is ok with his Renault after a mechanical problem in the morning session.

6 min: Kovalainen is the first of the big guns to take the top slot this afternoon on a 1:21.843.

7 min: Kovalainen, Rosberg, Nakajima, Kubica, Trulli, Piquet and Coulthard is the order so far in these early stages.

8 min: Nico Rosberg goes fastest of all with a time of 1:21.532, set using the softer compound tyre.

8 min: Lewis Hamilton now leads the session after a 1:21.282 on the harder tyre. The times are considerably slower than the best pace in the 1:19s this morning.

9 min: Sebastien Bourdais has an oversteering moment exiting the Abbey Chicane on one of his quick laps. The Frenchman skilfully keeps control of his Tor Rosso machine and has since come back into the pits.

11 min: Lewis Hamilton gets out of shape approaching the Club corner with the rear-end stepping out wildly under braking. Lewis gets everything back under control over the grass and completes a laptime of 1:25.

13 min: Hamilton pits for some time to think after another oversteer moment at Abbey.

13 min: Sebastian Vetel is haring around the track, moving into fourth position with a time of 1:21.822. Speaking of hares, Vettel narrowly missed a date with one in the Becketts complex a couple of laps ago.

15 min: Nico Rosberg continues to lap in the Williams on the softer Bridgestone tyre. He is now second in the order after setting an identical time to Lewis Hamilton.

16 min: Adrian Sutil has moved into eighth position - no doubt on a low-fuel type run as Force India lok to explore the potential of their updated aerodynamic package which they are introducing this weekend.

Sutil and Vettel would therefore be safe to compare equally at this stage, with Vettel a tenth up on his fellow German.

18 min: Fernando Alonso has the softer tyre on his Renault and has been exploring the sizable run-off at Copse. After recovering from that excursion, he clocks a 1:21.723 to go seventh.

18 min: Sutil has managed to slot in between the Toro Rosso drivers, with Bourdais behind him. We could be set for a mighty dogfight in the first period of qualifying tomorrow if the current pace is representative.

20 min: BMW and Nick Heidfeld - who has had really tough time recently - have come to the party. Heidfeld slots into fifth with a 1:21.453, but importantly is just a tenth of a second behind the current pacesetter, Lewis Hamilton.

20 min: The track temperature continues to climb in the sunshine - now up to 35c. That is likely to be a factor in the pace so far in this session being some way off the best from this morning.

22 min: All 19 drivers that have taken to the track so far are covered by less than one second - astonishing.

22 min: Timo Glock's Toyota has stopped beyond the exit of Club.

23 min: Glock climbs out of the Toyota, with no visible signs of smoke or damage coming from the car. On the team radio Timo tells his crew that he cannot engage gears.

24 min: Work continues in the Ferrari garage to repair Felipe Massa's car after that heavy crash in morning practice. Felipe is chatting with engineer Rob Smedley and is not looking likely to be out just yet.

25 min: Nick Heidfeld returns to the pitlane at the end of his run, but isn't too amused with the Silverstone marshals as he talks to his race engineer about the Glock stoppage.

"They are waving yellow and green at the same time. That's not very clever is it."

26 min: Lewis Hamilton is back on track and now has the softer tyre choice on his McLaren.

27 min: Mark Webber impressively moves up to the head of the list with a 1:21.246, but Sebastian Vettel blasts round even quicker to take P1 away from him.

Vettl, Webber, Hamilton, Rosberg is the order with David Coulthard moving into fifth.

28 min: Hamilton's first lap on those soft tyres is a 1:21.028, putting him second quickest, which immediately becomes third as teammate Kovalainen goes quickest by some margin on the soft rubber in 1:20.353.

29 min: Nelson Piquet completes a timed lap, using the softer tyre for this run, but the Renault driver only improves slightly, moving into 16th place with a 1:22.027.

30 min: Piquet goes on for a second lap and is set for an improvement if he can get a good final sector in ... but no, he remains 16th.

30 min: Pacesetter Kovalainen falls off to a 1:20.793 then a 1:21.020 as he continues on what is likely to be several laps to test the race performance of the softer rubber.

31 min: Rubens Barrichello has come from nowhere this morning straight into fourth place with a 1:21.199.

32 min: Kimi Raikkonen returns to the circuit in the Ferrari with the harder rubber option on his wheels.

32 min: With just over half-an-hour gone in the afternoon session, Heikki Kovalainen leads the pack with a laptime of 1:20.353. Sebastian Vettel is second, Lewis Hamilton third, Rubens Barrichello fourth and Mark Webber in fifth place.

34 min: A flurry of activity continues around the re-build of Massa's Ferrari as the mechanics race against time to get the Brazilian out in the latter half of this session.

36 min: Honda put Jenson Button on a comparable strategy with his teammate Barrichello, and the Briton joins Rubens in the top half of the list, setting the sixth fastest time with a 1:21.280.

37 min: Nico Rosberg comes back out in the Williams Toyota, and he improves to a 1:20.897, which puts him third. The German was using the harder tyre.

39 min: Timo Glock is back in the Toyota garage after his car stopped out on track a short time ago with a gearbox issue. Timo waves to the watching world, masking the disappointment that he must be feeling having lost all-important track time.

39 min: The BMW team is continuing a familiar strategy of not showing its hand at this stage in proceedings. Nick Heidfeld is 10th quickest while Robert Kubica is lapping on the hard tyre and only has the 17th fastest time.

39 min: Jenson Button's recent run with fired him up the order was set using the soft compound tyre.

43 min: Timo Glock's Toyota has somehow made it back into the pitlane with some help, through the network of service roads around Silverstone. He was clever enough to park the car towards the inside of the circuit when he had that gearbox issue, making the path to the pitlane possible.

43 min: The FIA have confirmed that a Safety Car test will again be performed at the end of this session. This relates to the introduction of Electronic Control Unit software that can limit a drivers' speed through the scene of an accident.

A statement said: "Shortly after every car has crossed the Line after the end of P2, i.e. every car on the track has taken the chequered flag, all marshal's posts will show yellow flags and SC boards, yellow lights will be illuminated in the cars and the message "SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED" will be displayed on the timing monitors.

"Within five seconds of the message being displayed, all drivers should select the Safety Car Mode and then proceed back to the pits."

44 min: The repairs are complete finally on the Felipe Massa Ferrari, and he has been out for an installation lap to check over the car.

Massa returns to the pits after a solitary lap.

46 min: Sebastian Vettel has come out onto the circuit again, as have both Honda drivers.

47 min: Jenson Button is setting personal best sector times on his latest lap, and he crosses the line and moves into fourth position on the harder tyre, with a time of 1:20.929.

48 min: Kazuki Nakajima has joined the racetrack for another run and is out on the softer compound tyre. He is poised to move up the order at the end of this lap.

49 min: Current third-placed man Nico Rosberg is also on a flying lap with the softer rubber.

49 min: Rosberg clocks a 1:20.748 to go second quickest in his Williams.

51 min: It's a qualifying-simulation dogfight if you read between the lines of the lower order teams.

Nakajima slots in right behind Button, into fifth place. Vettel third, Button fourth, Nakajima fifth and Barrichello sixth are covered by two tenths of a second. It is very interesting to see this little battle enveloped around the rest of the times on the list.

51 min: Felipe Massa returns to the circuit after he pitted for checks following an installation lap. He is on the harder tyre as he attempts to get his heavily-disrupted programme of work underway again.

53 min: In the McLaren camp, Heikki Kovalainen is back out on softer tyres and is once again the quickest man on the track, improving the benchmark time to 1:19.989.

56 min: Jenson Button comes back out onto the circuit for another run. This time we will keep a close eye on the amount of laps during this run.

Sebastian Vettel also comes out as Button starts the first flyer of this latest run.

56 min: Kovalainen's time falls off to a 1:20.385 on the second tour and 1:20.880 after that as the softer tyre loses grip.

Teammate Hamilton is lapping on the harder tyre close to his current eighth quickest time in the low 1:21s.

59 min: Button sets a personal best first sector time on the softer tyres, but can't maintain the speed through the remainder of the lap thanks in part to some slight oversteer exiting the Abbey Chicane.

He ends the lap 1.3 seconds off the benchmark time set so far ... and yes, into the pits at the end of the following lap.

Another qualifying simulation run there for Jenson Button.

59 min: Felipe Massa pits, then returns to the circuit, after a stint of laps in the 1:21s on the harder tyre. One of his later tours featured a run over the grass on the high-speed exit of Stowe.

60 min: Jarno Trulli has crashed the Toyota at Stowe but has climbed out of the machine. His rear wing has detached from the car is lying on the race track.

63 min: The track is now clear after Trulli's Toyota has been craned behind the barrier and marshals have removed his rear wing from the track.

64 min: A picture says a thousands words. When you see a crashed Toyota in the tyres at Stowe and a completely intact rear wing 150 yards away towards the end of the Hangar straight, there is one logical conclusion.

Sure enough the on board replays show a sudden loss of grip at the rear for Trulli as the car went light under braking for Stowe Corner. There is a reasonable amount of damage to the rear of the Toyota, but nowhere near the level of wreckage that we saw with Massa's crash this morning.

66 min: External replays confirm what everyone suspected - Trulli's Toyota arriving backwards through the Stowe gravel trap at speed, with no rear wing.

The moment when the rear wing detatched itself from the car wasn't caught on camera, but the important news is that Trulli is absolutely fine and climbed out of the car without any problem whatsoever.

67 min: Lewis Hamilton was one of the first cars to arrive on the scene of Trulli's crash and had to avoid the rear wing on the road. He pits the McLaren after a spell on the harder tyre.

68 min: Kazuki Nakajima has slid into the wall approaching Bridge after spinning on the exit of Abbey.

69 min: The Williams has limped back to the pits, leaving debris on the track.

71 min: Mark Webber is up to third with soft tyres on his Red Bull. He was on for a quicker time but pitted after encountering a Ferrari in the final complex.

72 min: Felipe Massa is now out to sample the softer rubber on his Ferrari but he gets it wrong in the high-speed flick at Becketts and is forced to take to the grass, but continues.

72 min: The battle at the back has eventually claimed a victim.

Rubens Barrichello, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Kazuki Nakajima have been embroiled in a mini-qualifying simulation shootout throughout this session. It has been amazing to watch them try to outpace eachother.

All four came out of the pits within two minutes of eachother to have another crack at a laptime. Althought this is only practice the pressure has most definitely been on these guys, because under a normal dry qualifying condition these guys would be fighting tooth and nail to progress to qualifying period two.

The pressure has finally told this time and it is Nakajima who has lost control of his Williams exiting the Abbey Chicane and nosed the car into the wall. The Japanese driver does well to salvage the situation and bring the car back to the pits.

With just 17 minutes left the Williams mechanics set to work repairing the damage.

77 min: Jarno Trulli has made it back into the paddock after his recent incident at Stowe corner.

77 min: The track is fairly quiet at this stage as most cars sit in the pits to prepare for a run in the final ten minutes.

78 min: Current session leader Heikki Kovalainen has returned to the circuit with the harder tyre on the McLaren.

81 min: Both Honda drivers Barrichello and Button have come out onto the circuit again. Likewise Sebastian Vettel has come out for what is likely to be his final run.

81 min: Kovalainen's flyer was a 1:21.196, having encountered a Honda in the final sector.

Compatriot Kimi Raikkonen is running the softer tyre option and moves up to 11th with a 1:21.275.

83 min: Lewis Hamilton is now on circuit with soft tyres on the McLaren. He is heading for Stowe on a flying lap.

83 min: Mark Webber is also out there. Currently in third place, the Australian sets the fastest first sector time of all on soft tyres. With solid pace in the second and third sectors of the lap he moves into second place with a time of 1:20.520.

84 min: Webber goes on for another lap but comes through four tenths of a second shy of his current time.

84 min: Hamilton jumps up the order to third after a soft-tyre lap of 1:20.543.

85 min: Timo Glock is back out on track with the gearbox issue on his Toyota apparently resolved.

87 min: Lewis was on for a quicker lap to follow up his third-placed effort but got it wrong approaching Brooklands and lost a lot of time controlling the slide and keeping the car out of the gravel.

Hamilton pits and steps out of the McLaren.

87 min: Felipe Massa is on track using the soft tyre on this last run of the day. He was set for an improvement in laptime after posting two personal best sector times in the first and second sections of the lap, but he ran wide exiting the Abbey Chicane, onto the grass and lost time, resulting in no improvement.

90 min: The session has ended. Cars that have already started a lap may complete it.

14:30 David Coulthard puts in a late improvement to go fourth in the Red Bull Renault. His time of 1:20.589 is just 0.069 seconds away from his teammate Mark Webber, who is second.

14:32 As reported earlier, the cars have now slowed to once again test the new safety car ECU software that requires the driver to acknowledge the presence of an accident on the circuit.

14:33 The cars return to the pits after that test, wrapping up Friday's running at the British Grand Prix.

14:34 So Heikki Kovalainen ends the second session of practice for Sunday's British Grand Prix as the fastest driver. His time of 1:19.989 was half a second quicker than Mark Webber in second. Lewis Hamilton was third in the McLaren Mercedes, with Coulthard fourth, Rosberg fifth, and Sebastian Vettel in sixth place.

14:37 Matt Beer has the round up and classification from an eventful second practice:

Kovalainen quickest in second practice

14:49 Roadsweepers are now on track to clean up the surface ahead of the GP2 qualifying session.

The fans continue to enjoy a bright and sunny day at Silverstone, but the weathermen point to an imminent demise in the conditions and a wet weekend is in prospect.

Stick with autosport.com Live for a full analysis of the weather prospects later this afternoon.

Weather Forecasts and Reports

14:54 Friday at the British Grand Prix has produced a day full of action, and incident, with varying strategies as the teams and drivers prepared for the rest of the weekend.

Under mainly sunny skies, the morning session got off predictably to a very slow start - the teams having completed a three day test at this venue just last week. Eventually the laptimes came and the practice began to flow as usual.

That was until the hour mark, when everything changed suddenly. Fernando Alonso pulled off at the exit of Stowe corner with a failure on his Renault, but not before he'd inadvertently laid a lengthy trail of oil on the racing line. Timo Glock passed the incident point with a trip on the run-off, but Felipe Massa was not so lucky. The Brazilian hit the oil in the braking zone for Stowe and spun at once, crashing heavily into the tyre barrier. Despite extensive damage to the rear of the Ferrari, Felipe emerged unscathed from what was a big accident.

Massa ended the first session fastest, and during the break between sessions the Ferrari mechanics set about repairing the car. The team in fact did a very good job and got the car ready during the second practice, allowing Massa to complete a further 18 laps of the Northamptonshire circuit.

Massa would not be the only driver in the wars today. Timo Glock lost a lot of track time after a gearbox problem with his Toyota, while Jarno Trulli in the sister car lost his rear wing at the end of the Hangar straight, crunching into the tyres at the same point as Massa hit them earlier. Kazuki Nakajima also went off track with damaging consequences when he lost control of his Williams exiting the Abbey Chicane.

Up front Heikki Kovalainen topped the session, but the times from the big teams are difficult to judge as Ferrari and McLaren potentially ran different fuel and tyre strategies during the afternoon's running.

Tomorrow the battle of Britiain will rev up a gear as we move on to qualifying day. Autosport.com Live will bring you live commentary of both the final practice session and the three-tier qualifying from 08:30 GMT on Saturday. Do join us then.

  OVERVIEW PRACTICE TWO  
Session length: 90 minutes
 View official live timing
  CURRENT WEATHER
Mainly sunny High Temp: 20°C / 68°F
Track: Dry
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Monday 30 Jun Start GMT
 Weather Forecasts and Reports 15:00
Friday 04 Jul
 Friday Practice 08:30
Saturday 05 Jul
 Final Practice and Qualifying 08:30
Sunday 06 Jul
 Raceday at Silverstone 08:00
  ABOUT
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are autosport.com's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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