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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2012 GERMAN GRAND PRIX - FRIDAY PRACTICE ONE
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Friday practice one
By Geoff Creighton, Emlyn Hughes and Matt Beer
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
07:55 Good morning everyone and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live for round 10 of this year's FIA Formula 1 world championship - the German Grand Prix from Hockenheim.

This is a crucial stage of the season, as the sport moves into a double-header before the one month summer break. Any slip-ups over the next three days - or at the Hungaroring next weekend - will hamper the top four or five drivers severely and leave them with a lot of catching up to do - especially given the rate at which Ferrari and Red Bull are now scoring points.

First practice begins in just under five minutes and, as usual, we can expect several early runs to check installations and basic settings, as well as some aerodynamic tests, before the teams move into some baseline set-up work and tyre evaluation in the second half of the session.

07:56 Here's how the standings look as the season reaches the half way stage:
World Championship standings, round 9:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Alonso       129        1.  Red Bull-Renault          216
 2.  Webber       116        2.  Ferrari                   152
 3.  Vettel       100        3.  Lotus-Renault             144
 4.  Hamilton      92        4.  McLaren-Mercedes          142
 5.  Raikkonen     83        5.  Mercedes                   98
 6.  Rosberg       75        6.  Sauber-Ferrari             60
 7.  Grosjean      61        7.  Williams-Renault           47
 8.  Button        50        8.  Force India-Mercedes       44
07:57 Conditions are overcast, cool - and for the moment - dry around Hockenheim as we await the start of the first session.

However, a band of light rain has already made it to the western fringes of Germany. It is slowly progressing east and there could be some light rain or drizzle later in the morning.

This risk of rain will continue into the afternoon, but isn't expected to amount to a great deal, with air temperature climbing to a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius.

07:58 Pirelli makes its debut appearance at Hockenheim this weekend, with the soft and medium rubber on offer.

Experimental hard compound tyres, with a wider working temperature range, are also set to be available for testing today after wet weather at Silverstone meant the evaluation planned two weeks ago didn't take place.

07:59 Many drivers are already belted into their cars. Schumacher, Vettel and Grosjean are among those ready for an installation lap when the session goes green.

07:59 Lotus is to become the first team other than Mercedes to try a double DRS system today:

Lotus to test double DRS in practice

07:59 Kovalainen is told on the Caterham radio of a few drops of rain around the circuit.

08:00 Meteo France tells the teams that a light shower will pass close to the circuit in just over five minutes. A few drops are expected.

0 min: The practice session is underway.

0 min: Vergne and Ricciardo are straight out onto the circuit for Toro Rosso.

0 min: Kovalainen, Glock, Grosjean, Perez and Raikkonen are all quickly on track.

1 min: Maldonado and Webber join the racetrack. Jules Bianchi is once again testing for Force India and he heads out for an installation run.

2 min: Button is on track to put a first lap on the upgraded McLaren.

2 min: Hulkenberg and de la Rosa head out, as do test drivers Bottas for Williams and Clos for HRT.

2 min: The early group of drivers are already back into the pits at the end of a single installation lap.

3 min: Bianchi crosses start-finish and begins a second tour of the circuit.

3 min: Vettel, Rosberg and Schumacher are all on track to check the condition of their cars.

3 min: Meanwhile at Ferrari, Alonso's front wing is completely sprayed with flow-vis paint as the championship leader heads out.

4 min: Ricciardo completed a run through the pitlane and is back onto the circuit for a second tour.

4 min: Hamilton is next to emerge for his first tour in the revised MP4-27.

4 min: You can see the visual differences McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh was talking about earlier this week, especially in the sidepods.

McLaren pins hopes on updates

5 min: Bianchi pits at the end of his second tour in the Force India, as we see a few light drops of moisture beginning to fall.

6 min: Kobayashi is keen to get his day underway and heads in after a three-lap installation effort in the Sauber.

7 min: Massa is the last man to take to the track for an install.

7 min: Major changes going on around Jean-Eric Vergne's car in the Toro Rosso garage after his installation lap at the beginning of the session.

8 min: Sauber was running a large sensor array behind the rear wheel of Kobayashi's car, collecting data while he was out for three slow tours.

8 min: Meanwhile, things are more routine at Red Bull, as Vettel slowly makes his way to the back of the garage. A seat on the tool chest beckons.

9 min: Daniel Ricciardo is back out for a run following his two-lap installation. The Australian has the circuit to himself for the moment.

11 min: Ricciardo comes back in after a single lap. The mechanics briefly cool his front brakes before sending him back out.

12 min: McLaren engineers are busy taking pictures of the flow-vis on Hamilton's sidepod, while Button heads out again.

12 min: Kovalainen and Perez are also back on track.

14 min: That's two checking runs completed for Ricciardo - two laps each time, split by a quick visit to the box. He is back in to stay for the time being.

14 min: Button completes the first proper flying lap of the day at a time of 1m18.759s.

15 min: Perez slots in second fastest in the early times, with Kovalainen third for Caterham.

16 min: Maldonado and Clos join the circuit to begin some set-up and data gathering work.

16 min: Bottas also heads out in the other Williams, while Rosberg joins the track in his Mercedes.

17 min: Button has improved his best as he continues to push on - 1m17.240s is the new benchmark.

18 min: Kovalainen spoke yesterday about his hope for the German GP, where he reckons Caterham can take a step forward thanks to the updates introduced at Silverstone.

Kovalainen upbeat after aero test

18 min: Maldonado was set to post his first time on the board, but the Venezuelan elects to pit. Webber heads out for Red Bull.

18 min: Grosjean is on track in his Lotus, slotting in second fastest but over a second off Button's early best.

19 min: Bottas moves into fourth spot with a lap of 1m21.133s, while Rosberg is next up in fifth after posting his first effort - 1m21.868s.

20 min: Clos is eighth on an increasing list of names on the timesheet, with a lap of 1m24.520s.

21 min: Vergne is back on track after waiting for a short time, while the Toro Rosso mechanics repaired his car.

22 min: Button pits to wrap up his first run on top of the times.

22 min: Webber slots into 10th spot with a customary building lap of 1m22.683s in the RB8.

23 min: Vergne moves ahead of the Australian and into ninth place with a time of 1m22.042s.

24 min: Perez and Kobvalainen explore the bounds of the circuit as the drops of rain continue to fall.

24 min: Light rain is now falling over parts of the circuit. Webber runs wide but is able to continue.

25 min: The rain is bad news for the teams hoping to get extra running with the experimental hard tyres Pirelli is bringing.

25 min: Race control now confirms a wet track, as Webber slowly heads for the pits after his adventures.

26 min: Rosberg and Maldonado were also on track when the rain began to fall. They are also heading for the pitlane.

28 min: Petrov found things slippery under braking a the hairpin and has returned to the Caterham garage.

28 min: Vergne and Vettel are providing mild amusement, by attempting to stay out in these tricky conditions on slicks.

29 min: On the following lap, Vergne is able to log 18.1s in the first sector, while Vettel pitted. Conditions are drying up quickly.

30 min: Vergne clocks 1m22.142s - just one-tenth shy of his best so far in the session.

31 min: Plenty of mechanics covering Raikkonen's car from the cameras as the team aims to hide the secrets of its new double DRS system

31 min: The rain appears to have stopped, as Vergne improves to seventh place with a time of 1m21.093s.

32 min: Toro Rosso gets the message and sends Ricciardo out for a run in the other car.

32 min: Massa heads out in his Ferrari, while many drivers remain in the garage waiting for track conditions to improve.

33 min: De la Rosa comes out for a run in the HRT. He has yet to set a time, along with 10 others.

33 min: Vergne continues to improve and is up to fifth with a lap of 1m20.289s.

34 min: Ricciardo completes his first timed lap of the day and goes 12th with a time of 1m22.764s.

35 min: Massa reports the track is okay as he clocks a first time of 1m21.540s to join the order in eighth.

35 min: Maldonado and Schumacher head out for a run.

36 min: Bianchi gets on the board in 16th place with a slow and sedate 1m29.272s lap.

36 min: Hamilton and Button return to the track, as does Alonso in his Ferrari.

37 min: Ricciardo moves up to 11th place with a time of 1m21.824s, as spots of rain are beginning to fall once again.

38 min: Bianchi ran wide at Turn 8 but was able to continue. Now it is raining a lot harder than before. In they come again...

39 min: Several drivers were testing the experimental hard compound but the evaluation is forced to end as the track gets wetter.

39 min: Tricky conditions not making life easy for the teams:

@Marussia_F1Team: The Timo checklist is near complete but the weather is a little temperamental. To rejoin or not rejoin. That is the question.

40 min: Massa is braving it out for the moment, the only man on track and lapping slowly in the greasy conditions.

41 min: We can see on the radar that more persistent and slightly heavier rain is now moving into the nearby town of Speyer. Should continue raining for a while now.

42 min: @InsideFerrari: Felipe is still running but not pushing: he is working on some aero test.

42 min: Sauber mechanics add removing gravel to the list of tasks on Perez's car after the Mexican ran well off the circuit entering the stadium.

43 min: Schumacher elects to remain in his car as Mercedes waits to see what the weather does in the next few minutes.

44 min: Kovalainen returns to the Caterham garage after finding things very slippery on an exploratory tour.

44 min: At the halfway stage, Jenson Button tops the list with a time of 1m16.595s, ahead of Grosjean, Perez and Bottas.

45 min: Bottas has just left the pits and is on track for another run. Behind him, Massa is fifth in the classification with Vergne sixth.

46 min: Rosberg is seventh in the Mercedes, followed by Kovalainen, Hamilton and Glock rounds out the top 10.

46 min: Pic completes a 1m39s lap as he continues to circulate in the damp.

46 min: Not so secret anymore..

@Lotus_F1Team: Rain fall makes for a slippery track, not what you want when evaluating top secret updates. Don't look at me! Shhhh

47 min: Bottas' sector times are coming back towards a fully dry condition. Maybe one more lap if no further rain falls.

49 min: Bottas completes a lap in 1m20.788s - 1.6s off his best so far in the session. The Finn remains in fourth spot.

50 min: Vergne, Ricciardo, Clos and Maldonado are back on track for a run.

50 min: This will be Maldonado's third attempt at getting a run in and a time on the board.

51 min: Ricciardo moves up the order to fifth place with a time of 1m19.723s.

51 min: Raikkonen emerges from the Lotus garage for a test of the team's DRS upgrades.

52 min: Maldonado does complete a timed lap and posts the ninth fastest time with 1m21.031s.

52 min: Jean-Eric Vergne is out there, but just endured a heart-stopping moment exiting Turn 1 when he ran wide onto the exit kerb.

53 min: The Frenchman was able to catch the Toro Rosso at high speed and somehow keep the car pointing in the right direction.

54 min: Ducts are visible either side of the airbox on Raikkonen's car as it is pushed back into the garage following a single lap.

54 min: Hulkenberg moves up the list to seventh spot with a lap of 1m19.804s. Suddenly we have 21 drivers taking advantage of the dry track.

55 min: Schumacher is one of those circulating. He can see the next shower coming as he laps the circuit. He reckons it'll be at the circuit in a couple of minutes.

55 min: Alonso improves to second fastest with a 1m17.795s effort in his Ferrari.

56 min: Mercedes boss Norbert Haug is confident the Nurburgring will survive despite its financial problems:

Haug sure Nurburgring will survive

56 min: Vettel is one of only two drivers yet to record a lap time. He comes round and gets on the board in 20th with a steady 1m22.513s effort.

57 min: Hamilton makes his way up the order to fourth fastest with a lap of 1m18.845s.

57 min: Vettel improves a couple of positions to 18th on his second timed lap with 1m20.517s.

59 min: Vettel moves further up the order to 10th spot with a time of 1m19.264s, as we see a replay of Schumacher rejoining the circuit at Turn 8 after an excursion.

60 min: Schumacher then is able to complete a clean lap with no mistakes and he is up to fifth with a time of 1m18.247s.

60 min: Rosberg also moves his Mercedes up the list and is into third with 1m17.915s.

60 min: @InsideFerrari: Pitstop for Fernando for a front wing change

61 min: Hulkenberg moves up a few places to second with 1m17.599s in the Force India.

62 min: Massa is the latest man to run wide as light rain falls once again.

64 min: Kobayashi remains on track for the moment, collecting data with a sensor array on the Sauber.

64 min: This is turning into a comedy. The teams and drivers are getting no more than 10-minute bursts before the next shower hits. Tremendously frustrating for those who have new parts to test.

66 min: Michael Schumacher has climbed out of his Mercedes and has hastily headed out the back of the garage.

67 min: Massa was the only man to remain out on track during this latest shower but now heads back to the Ferrari garage.

69 min: Schumacher is back aboard his car and the cockpit surround is fitted, while he waits to see if he can get any further dry running in.

72 min: Kobayashi breaks the silence and heads out again in his Sauber. Team-mate Perez is also now underway.

73 min: Both Sauber drivers are on intermediate rubber, which Perez is told to look after in conditions that are pretty dry for that tyre.

75 min: Kobayashi clocks a 1m24s lap on intermediates while Perez has returned to the garage.

75 min: Vergne is 11th in the classification. He heads out for another run in the Toro Rosso.

78 min: Ricciardo is also on track and is told over the team radio that eight timed laps is the plan, through to the end of the session.

79 min: The third shower of the morning seems to be over and the circuit is almost back to a fully dry condition.

79 min: Both Ferrari drivers back on track now, hoping to complete a final run.

80 min: Massa clocks an improvement on his eighth-place time as the track gets back up to speed once again.

80 min: There are 18 drivers on track, as Webber runs wide coming into the Motodrom and has to tip-toe carefully over the astroturf before rejoining.

82 min: Schumacher improves to second place behind Button with a lap of 1m17.382s.

83 min: Glock pits his Marussia as the team spot an issue with the engine. The car is pushed back into the garage and the team get to work.

84 min: Button remains on top with a few minutes to go, ahead of Alonso, Schumacher, Perez, Hulkenberg and Rosberg in sixth spot.

85 min: Hamilton clocks a 1m17.093s lap to slot in second to Button's earlier time.

87 min: Medium compound tyres are the choice of the field for this final flurry of laps. Button is one of the few out on the experimental hards.

88 min: Alonso joins the long list of drivers running wide at the entrance to the stadium section.

88 min: Bottas has spun backwards at the Sachs curve and his Williams is in the barrier.

88 min: Sir Frank Williams watches on as Bottas climbs out of the car.

89 min: Replays show that Bottas was pushing hard on a timed lap, then locked up his rear tyres entering the left-hander and lost control of the car.

09:30 The flag is out to end a disrupted first practice session in Germany.

09:31 A tractor unit is already removing the Williams away from the corner, as Bruno Senna watches his race car now in need of repair between the two sessions.

09:32 Jenson Button tops first practice at Hockenheim with a lap of 1m16.595s, ahead of team-mate Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher.

09:33 Sergio Perez is the only other driver within one second of Button's pace. The Mexican is fifth, with Hulkenberg sixth and Rosberg seventh.

09:33 Massa ends the morning in eighth spot, with Maldonado ninth and Grosjean rounds out the top 10 for Lotus.

09:35 So, a disrupted start to proceedings and little to learn from the timesheet. Join us later for second practice action from Hockenheim.

  OVERVIEW PRACTICE ONE  
Session length: 90 minutes
  CURRENT WEATHER
Overcast High Temp: 19°C / 66°F
Track: Dry
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Friday 20 Jul Start GMT
 Friday practice one 07:55
 Friday practice two 11:55
Saturday 21 Jul
 Saturday practice 08:55
 Qualifying 11:50
Sunday 22 Jul
 The German Grand Prix 11:45