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Valsecchi on top in free practice in Hockenheim
Davide Valsecchi
Davide Valsecchi has got his weekend under way in fine style by topping the timesheets in a rain (and red flag) affected free practice session this morning in Hockenheim, claiming the top spot just in time to sneak past Luiz Razia and Esteban Gutierrez.

The session got underway under overcast skies but on a dry circuit, with the field storming out on track to make the most of the conditions while the teams kept an eye on the radar screens forecasting rain on the way. Gutiérrez and Marcus Ericsson set the early pace, swapping the top spot each time across the line as many of their rivals went too wide at turn one and paid the price with their times.

Around the ten minute mark Giedo van der Garde and Razia got into the mix too, with the Dutchman just catching some traffic in the complex to slow his ultimate lap times, before Valsecchi nailed a lap to steal the top spot. It looked as though this time was going to fall too, but for Giancarlo Serenelli running slightly wide coming into the complex and getting caught on the grass, which flicked the Venezuelan across the track and heavily into the wall, bringing out the red flags instantly.

As the marshals retrieved the various pieces of the broken Venezuela GP Lazarus car the rain started to come down, spitting at first and then raining heavier just before the session restarted with six minutes remaining: given the conditions there was no chance of any improvement in times, so Stefano Coletti, van der Garde, Fabio Leimer, James Calado, Max Chilton, Ericsson and Fabio Onidi were unable to take the fight to the top three.

With 18 drivers within a second of the quickest lap, and the rain falling even heavier after the session, this afternoon's qualifying session promises to be more dramatic than ever at the famous German circuit.

Hockenheim – Free Practice

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:24.031 10
2. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:24.151 9
3. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:24.269 8
4. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:24.289 8
5. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:24.337 9
6. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:24.342 8
7. James Calado Lotus GP 1:24.462 9
8. Max Chilton Carlin 1:24.573 8
9. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:24.622 9
10. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:24.688 10
11. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:24.804 9
12. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:24.838 12
13. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:24.888 9
14. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:24.924 9
15. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:24.965 9
16. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:24.974 9
17. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:24.977 8
18. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:25.051 9
19 Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:25.108 10
20. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:25.557 9
21. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:25.665 12
22. Victor Guerin Ocean Racing Technology 1:26.071 11
23. Sergio Canamasas Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:26.475 11
24. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:26.762 11
25. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:27.459 7
26. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:28.126 8
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