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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2012 GERMAN GRAND PRIX - FRIDAY PRACTICE TWO
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Friday practice two
By Geoff Creighton, Emlyn Hughes and Matt Beer
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
11:55 Hello everyone and welcome back to AUTOSPORT Live as we continue the story of the 2012 German Grand Prix weekend at Hockenheim.

Jenson Button topped a disrupted morning session ahead of McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with a fastest lap time of 1m16.595s. Behind the British duo, Fernando Alonso was third with Michael Schumacher fourth and Sergio Perez (fifth) was the only other driver within one second of the pacesetter.

Light showers punctuated the 90-minute session and little could be gleaned in terms of relative car performance from the timesheet. Practice two begins in less than five minutes time.

11:56 A couple of light showers in the break did little to alter the track condition - that was until 15 minutes ago when the heaviest burst so far blew through and soaked the circuit.

Further showers are expected and they could be moderate or even heavy at times over the next couple of hours, so a wet track is anticipated throughout the session.

A light south-westerly breeze is driving the showers on, while air temperature is up around the predicted maximum of 19 degrees Celsius.

11:57 With another rain-affected session in prospect, plans for the afternoon are completely out of the window. The fickle weather is certainly not helping evaluate Pirelli's new hard compound, nor the teams such as McLaren and Lotus with major upgrades to test today.

A practice-only set of full wet tyres is available today, which engineers will be keen to spend much of the session using in order to conserve the allocated intermediates for the rest of the weekend.

11:58 The rain has been particularly heavy over the last few minutes, with standing water building up on the circuit.

11:59 The session is set to begin in just one minute, but there will be little action in the early stages given the rate it's falling at the moment.

0 min: The practice session is underway.

0 min: Mark Webber is going nowhere for the time being, as he stands and surveys his car in the Red Bull garage.

1 min: Full wets would be required to venture out at the moment but there are no takers for the heavily soaked circuit right now.

4 min: Meteo France tells the teams that the intensity will ease off, but that this rain is on for at least another hour.

6 min: Nico Rosberg stands in the Mercedes garage, chatting away with team members.

6 min: The sound of music as Bruno Senna is the first brave soul to venture out onto the sopping wet circuit.

7 min: Senna sat out this morning's session, while the Williams test driver Valtteri Bottas got his chance to gather important data for the team.

8 min: Obviously, it's full wet tyres for the Brazilian, as he comes back into the pits at the end of a checking lap.

8 min: Bottas is looking on from the garage as Senna returns. The Finn will be pleased that conditions were not like this earlier today.

9 min: Jean-Eric Vergne is told by his race engineer on the team radio that they will wait until the track becomes more acceptable, before going out.

10 min: Championship leader Alonso is seated at the back of the Ferrari garage and looks as bored as the rest of us with the lack of action.

11 min: Williams will now check that everything is okay with Senna's car, after Bottas crashed rearwards into the barrier at the Sachs curve towards the end of the first session.

12 min: Michael Schumacher has wandered over to the Mercedes pit gantry to chat with the engineers and check out the latest rain radar images for himself.

14 min: Teams don't have a lot to do at the moment...

@Lotus_F1Team: As there's little going on due to the rain, how about a game of #TweetYourUpgrade - what parts should we add to the car?

15 min: This rain is also bad news for Paul di Resta and Narain Karthikeyan, who sat out the morning session at Force India and HRT, in favour of Jules Bianchi and Dani Clos.

17 min: Jean-Eric Vergne heads out in his Toro Rosso motorboat to check out the current track conditions.

18 min: Full wets for Vergne but the track surface looks a little better than it did a few minutes ago. Nico Rosberg is also on track.

18 min: Pic is also on track with full wets on his Marussia.

19 min: Rosberg is advised of standing water between Turns 8 and 10 as he continues round on his lap out of the pits.

19 min: Vergne crossed start-finish and is now into a timed lap.

19 min: No other takers apart from these three drivers at the moment, as Vergne gets it wrong and Turn 8 but is able to rejoin.

20 min: Vergne gets a rather soggy ball rolling gently with a time of 1m43.330s.

21 min: Rosberg comes round to complete his first timed lap of the session ... 1m43.222s for the German.

21 min: Pic navigates his way around a lap against the clock as well, his time a 1m49.814s.

21 min: Rosberg clears Vergne by just 0.108s, but the Frenchman is about to complete his second effort.

21 min: Glock has joined his team-mate on track.

22 min: Vergne moves back ahead of Rosberg with a lap of 1m41.135s.

22 min: Ricciardo, Vettel and Hulkenberg join the racetrack.

23 min: Rosberg leapfrogs Vergne again with a time of 1m40.666s as he gets used to the wet surface.

23 min: Schumacher has also come out to check the conditions, while Vettel is now into a timed lap.

24 min: Webber and di Resta head out, followed immediately by Karthikeyan in the HRT.

25 min: Vergne is back on top with a lap of 1m39.843s and Rosberg can't beat that one. 1m39.980s leaves the Mercedes driver still in second spot.

25 min: Vettel goes third with his opening effort - 1m40.713s and Ricciardo is into fourth spot in the other Toro Rosso.

25 min: Plenty more takers now as the drivers make use of the practice set of full wets.

26 min: Hulkenberg is now fourth with a time of 1m41.149s, knocking Ricciardo down to fifth for the moment.

27 min: Rosberg tops the list with a time of 1m39.021s with Vergne second and Mark Webber goes third with a lap of 1m39.721s.

28 min: Di Resta is the next man into the top three. He moves into third spot with 1m39.592s, as Rosberg pits to end his first run.

29 min: Webber crosses the line and moves up to second with 1m39.305s, 0.284s down on Rosberg's benchmark.

29 min: The order is Rosberg at the front, followed by Webber, Grosjean now into third, Vergne fourth and Hulkenberg fifth in the leading Force India.

30 min: Ricciardo moves up to fourth with a time of 1m39.412s.

30 min: Schumacher now tops the list with a lap of 1m38.194s ahead of Vettel, with the order changing continually.

31 min: Rosberg is third and Perez is into fourth with a time of 1m39.115s.

31 min: Webber has pitted after a short run of four laps on the full wet tyre. He is slipping down the order as others improve.

32 min: No move yet from Hamilton, Alonso, de la Rosa or Felipe Massa.

32 min: Raikkonen is told of a problem with his rear wing, causing a loss of downforce.

32 min: Vettel pits to end a six lap run in the Red Bull - two laps more than team-mate Webber.

33 min: Maldonado posts an improvement. 1m40.333s puts the Venezuelan in 12th position.

33 min: Hamilton finally makes a move out of the McLaren garage, while Alonso is also just getting underway as well.

34 min: Schumacher comes into the pits to end his first run. Six laps for the German and he remains as the man to beat.

35 min: Button is up to 14th in the jumbled order as he gets a feel for the track conditions, finding things a little slippery at the hairpin.

36 min: The rain has stopped all round the circuit, but there are further heavy showers to the west of the circuit on the radar.

36 min: Rosberg is back out for a second run - this time on the intermediate tyre.

36 min: Meantime, Vergne is top of the charts with a lap of 1m38.051s, but only briefly...

36 min: Alonso goes straight to the top of the order with a new best of 1m37.395s.

37 min: HRT is working on a suspension problem in de la Rosa's car. He's expected to be out of action for some 20 more minutes

38 min: Perez slots in second fastest as the times begin to improve with some of the water clearing from the racing line.

38 min: It looks as though Rosberg can handle the intermediates in the stadium section without too much trouble, but his problem will be in the wetter areas around Turns 8, 9 and 10.

38 min: Rosberg has posted a personal best in the first sector and he backs that up with another in the middle section of the circuit.

39 min: Rosberg rounds the final corner and posts 1m37.285s to go fastest of all.

40 min: Alonso is also using intermediates for this run, as is team-mate Massa.

41 min: Vettel is lowered to the floor and he is ready to come out for his second run. Both he and team-mate Webber head out on intermediate tyres.

41 min: Hamilton jumps up to fourth fastest in 1m37.646s.

41 min: De la Rosa is the only driver yet to venture out in the wet conditions this afternoon.

43 min: With the track continually drying, drivers are improving their lap time each time they cross the line. Rosberg retakes P1 from Alonso with 1m35.833s.

44 min: Alonso moves back ahead of Rosberg and tops the order with 1m34.593s.

44 min: Alonso takes it easy through the remaining puddles, guiding the Ferrari around in a new best of 1m34.593s.

44 min: Perez is third with Hamilton fourth, Grosjean fifth and Ricciardo in sixth place.

44 min: Button reports that the track is very dry in places and very wet in others, a tricky set of conditions to pick tyres for.

45 min: Vettel leaps up the list to third spot on the intermediates with a time of 1m36.682s.

45 min: Schumacher and di Resta head out of the pits to begin another run of laps.

46 min: Webber is quicker than his team-mate first time round on the intermediates. The Australian is into sixth with a lap of 1m36.262s.

46 min: Massa slides his Ferrari around the final corner to clock a new benchmark time of 1m34.576s before running wide at the Nordkurve.

46 min: Schumacher crosses the line and begins a timed lap. He has slipped to 13th in the classification.

47 min: Vergne jumps back up the order to third place with a time of 1m34.824s and team-mate Ricciardo follows him through and into fourth.

47 min: Rosberg goes quickest of all with a time of 1m33.824s as the track continues to improve quickly.

48 min: Vettel also improves and is now into second spot behind the Mercedes driver, with a lap of 1m34.242s.

48 min: Red Bull engineer recording a video of a McLaren pitstop with his mobile phone. Ferrari engineer following that action closely too

48 min: Perez is the next man to shake out on top of the times in 1m33.566s.

48 min: Schumacher splits Rosberg and Massa, but it isn't for second, it is for a staggering seventh with the speed of the changes!

48 min: More on de la Rosa's problems:

‏@HRTF1Team: Pedro is still in the garage due to the detection of something unusual on the braking system. It is being changed as a precautionary measure

49 min: Times improving by the lap now, putting Grosjean on top in 1m32.897s.

49 min: Rosberg goes on for another lap and moves back up to second spot, behind new pacesetter Grosjean with a time of 1m33.013s.

50 min: Schumacher is next to spin the fruit machine and nail three bells with a time of 1m32.777s.

50 min: Grosjean keeps his place at the top of the list with an improved best of 1m32.066s, but not for long as Alonso does a 1m31.207s.

51 min: It's Alonso up top but now from Perez, with Grosjean third, Raikkonen fourth, Webber fifth and Button sixth.

51 min: Perez jumps in between Alonso and Grosjean, with Raikkonen now fourth in his Lotus.

52 min: Grosjean takes back the top time, lapping in 1m30.666s.

53 min: Vettel improves into third place with 1m31.109s as this amusing phase of every driver through moving into the top three, continues.

53 min: Hamilton shaves a further fraction off the leading time, before Grosjean goes back to the top in 1m30.181s.

53 min: Not long ago Schumacher split Rosberg and Massa to go second. He is back in the pits and that lap is now only good enough for 14th.

54 min: Massa is now up to third fastest as the times continue to tumble.

54 min: Vettel goes on again and is second with a lap of 1m30.097s.

54 min: Massa completes his latest lap faster than all - 1m29.719s is the new time to beat.

55 min: Di Resta is way down the order but is extremely quick after two sectors.

55 min: Raikkonen goes up to second with his latest tour, while Button is now fourth fastest in his McLaren.

55 min: Di Resta moves into seventh spot with a time of 1m30.437s.

55 min: So now it's Massa at the front with Raikkonen second, Vettel third, Button fourth and Grosjean in fifth spot.

56 min: Perez grabs the leading time - now a 1m29.698s.

56 min: Senna moves up to seventh spot, as we see replays of Senna spinning at the first corner. He was able to rejoin and has since pitted.

56 min: Webber moves up to fourth place with a time of 1m29.789s.

57 min: Next up it is Raikkonen on top again, well briefly anyway...

57 min: Vettel jumps everyone and takes up residence at the head of the field with a time of 1m28.835s.

57 min: Button takes the temporary spot at the top with a new best of 1m28.516s.

58 min: Maldonado makes a big leap and goes fourth with 1m28.835s - the same time as Vettel.

58 min: Grosjean comes around again and is quicker still - 1m28.420s.

59 min: With track conditions improving, the DRS has now been enabled by race control.

60 min: Maldonado tops the list with a time of 1m27.476s for Williams.

61 min: Vettel is now second with 1m27.902s, ahead of Grosjean third, Ricciardo up to fourth, Button fifth, Webber sixth and Raikkonen in seventh.

62 min: Several drivers are back into the pits now and hoping to try and get a run on slick tyres. However, another shower is expected soon.

63 min: But it won't happen - the rain has returned.

64 min: Many drivers have headed back to the pits to see how long this shower will last.

64 min: Hulkenberg is circulating on intermediates tyres. He is told on the radio to pit at the end of this lap.

65 min: Kovalainen has found it slippery on the entry to the stadium section, running wide for some rallying over the gravel. He has now pitted.

65 min: The rain is suddenly falling a good bit heavier and this will turn the track back into a fully wet condition soon.

65 min: Race control has sensibly decided that DRS needs to be disabled in the worsening conditions.

67 min: Needless to say there is no-one on track for the moment. Having set their minds for a possibly try-out of slicks, they will now face a run to the end of the session on intermediate or full wet tyres.

67 min: Hamilton breaks the silence and heads out in the McLaren.

69 min: Schumacher is also on track and Raikkonen is next out onto the circuit.

70 min: McLaren says it has no issues with the legality of Lotus's new double DRS system.

Read more here.

70 min: Changes to the wing level on Raikkonen's car. He is told on the team radio that if he feels this latest set-up change is too risky then to come back into the pits.

70 min: Senna is also on the circuit for Williams with less than 20 minutes of the session remaining.

71 min: Intermediate tyres for Raikkonen, as Rosberg heads out for another run.

72 min: De la Rosa ventures out for the first time this afternoon.

72 min: Alonso heads out again on intermediates.

73 min: Replays of Senna fighting to control the Williams exiting the Sachs curve under heavy acceleration. He keeps the car pointed straight (just) and continues on this run.

73 min: Third placed Vettel leaves the pitlane for another run in the Red Bull.

74 min: Interestingly, Schumacher is on full wets, while many others are using intermediates at the moment.

74 min: Kobayashi and Perez are both out for a run with full wets on the Saubers.

75 min: Schumacher quickly realises that there isn't really enough standing water to make good use of the deep wet tyre and he comes into the pits.

77 min: De la Rosa is finally on the board in the HRT. He is 24th and last after a slow and sedate 1m45.961s lap - more than 18 seconds away.

78 min: De la Rosa begins to get to work after being sidelined for much of the session with a brakes issue. He improves with 1m43.872s.

79 min: Vettel records 1m40.134s and that is more than 12 seconds shy of the benchmark. The best of the afternoon conditions may have been and gone.

80 min: Still raining with 10 minutes of the session remaining.

80 min: Senna is back into the pits to complete another run. His last lap featured an off-track excursion at Turn 8.

81 min: Ricciardo is off at the Sachs curve and in the gravel.

81 min: He is unable to get out of the gravel bed and a tractor unit is on its way to retrieve the Toro Rosso.

82 min: Replays show that the Australian simply understeered off the road on intermediate tyres. He didn't make it as far as the wall.

82 min: So the bonus for Ricciardo and the team is that at least there is no damage to the car, but he will lose the last few minutes of the session.

84 min: Maldonado remains on top of the pile. He comes out for a final run to the flag.

85 min: Webber is continuing round on this long run with intermediate tyres. Oh and Schumacher is off, having crashed heavily into the Motodrom.

85 min: The session has been stopped.

86 min: Schumacher climbs out of the car, but the Mercedes has suffered heavy damage.

87 min: Schumacher was on intermediate tyres and clearly ran wide coming to the right-hander ... yes, and the rear snapped round, across the grass and into the barrier.

87 min: The clock continues to tick down, with a restart unlikely given the mess Schumacher has made.

88 min: He went in rearwards and there is substantial damage to both rear corners and also a broken front wing.

88 min: Schumacher walked away and waved to the fans in the grandstand around the stadium. He appears to be fine.

89 min: Maldonado climbed out of his car in the Williams pit, knowing that his benchmark time will not be beaten.

89 min: Schumacher has walked back to his car and is now supervising the recovery of the Mercedes.

13:30 That's the end of another disrupted session at Hockenheim.

13:31 Schumacher's car is lifted and the German carefully surveys the underside of the car.

13:31 He said on the team radio that he had already felt a slight ride height issue in Turn 7.

13:32 So as the Mercedes is recovered, it's Pastor Maldonado who tops second practice at Hockenheim with a best time of 1m27.476s.

13:33 Rosberg ends the day in second spot with Vettel third, Perez fourth and Grosjean the only other man within one second of the fastest time.

13:33 Hulkenberg was sixth in the Force india, ahead of Ricciardo seventh, Button eighth, Webber ninth and Raikkonen rounds out the top 10.

13:34 Other notables: Massa was 12th, Hamilton 19th, Alonso 20th and Schumacher finished up 23rd.

13:35 So a wet Friday ends at Hockenheim with little knowledge of who has the fastest car this weekend.

13:35 Join us tomorrow for more as the story of the 2012 German Grand Prix continues.

  OVERVIEW PRACTICE TWO  
Session length: 90 minutes
  CURRENT WEATHER
Light rain High Temp: 19°C / 66°F
Track: Lightly wet
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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