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Fans brave wet conditions at Silverstone
The expected heavy rain and grey skies dominated first practice ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix.
Remarkably, the atrocious weather failed to dampen the enthusiasm of many of the fans, with a record 80,000 for a Friday at Silverstone looking on. Those under the grandstands would have been naturally welcome of the shelter, but those in the open air were subjected to a non-stop deluge throughout the 90 minutes as they huddled under umbrellas.
It has to be remembered, as teams only have three sets of full wet Pirelli tyres for a weekend, they were taking precautions not to do too much running and so waste their rubber. Come the conclusion, it was Lotus' Romain Grosjean at the top of a largely irrelevant timesheet with a lap of one minute 56.552secs, completing the second-highest total of 13 laps.
Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo was 0.275secs adrift, with Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren the only other driver to finish within a second of Grosjean, the home hero 0.622secs down.
Sauber's Sergio Perez was 1.112secs behind, with Felipe Massa in his Ferrari and Red Bull's Mark Webber 1.567secs and 1.911secs off the pace.
Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi and Michael Schumacher for Mercedes were also inside two seconds of Grosjean, with the former managing 19 laps, but also under investigation by the stewards for a pit-lane entry infringement.
Reigning double world champion Sebastian Vettel was 2.862secs down in 11th, with McLaren's Jenson Button over five seconds adrift in 17th.
Current championship leader Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari and the Force India duo of Paul di Resta and reserve Jules Bianchi, standing in for Nico Hulkenberg, all failed to set a time as they managed four, three and one installation laps respectively.
Beyond the track it became clear Silverstone's traffic management system, given a £1million upgrade for this year, was falling apart as many fans were tweeting about the horrors of being stuck in stationary traffic, missing out on the first session.