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Rediff.com  » Sports » Hamilton fights back after costly crash

Hamilton fights back after costly crash

Last updated on: July 23, 2010 20:12 IST

Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton suffered a costly crash in practice for the German Grand Prix Friday while rivals Ferrari and Red Bull showed off their speed.

McLaren's Hamilton had to sit out all but 12 minutes of the afternoon session, led by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, after skidding off and smashing sideways into the tyre wall in the morning.

The impact, after the McLaren snapped right and skimmed across the grass, damaged three corners of the car.

"I'm in the wall, the car is damaged. Heavily," he said over the team radio.

The 2008 world champion, a winner at Hockenheim in 2008, still managed to set the seventh fastest time despite completing just 10 laps after lunch to add to the eight he did in the morning.

Team mate Jenson Button, the reigning world champion who is 12 points behind the younger Briton, ended the first session third fastest but was only 15th in the second.

Overall leaders McLaren had hoped to get some testing miles on their new floor and 'blown diffuser' but the wet conditions made that difficult.

ALONSO FASTEST

While they struggled, Ferrari and Red Bull filled the top four places.

Ferrari's double world champion Fernando Alonso was fastest with a lap of one minute 16.265, 0.029 quicker than home favourite Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.

The German's Australian team mate Mark Webber was fourth behind Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa.

The morning session, run in heavier rain with cars skidding and spinning as if on an ice rink, saw Force India's Adrian Sutil top the timesheets with compatriot Michael Schumacher lapping second slowest.

Sutil, always good in the rain, took advantage of a drying track towards the end of the session to post a best time of 1:25.701.

The 41-year-old Schumacher's quickest lap in the morning on his first home appearance for Mercedes was 0.341 better than Japanese tail-ender Sakon Yamamoto, preparing for only his second race since 2007.

The seven times world champion, back at Hockenheim after a four-year absence, had talked Thursday of his hopes of getting back on the podium and made that look more likely with the sixth best time in the afternoon.

In a reflection of the fickle conditions, Germany's Timo Glock was 12th fastest for newcomers Virgin Racing in the morning.

Normal service was resumed later on, with Glock back in a nonetheless respectable 19th place.

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