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Ahead of today's free practice session, the air temperature is 25 degrees C, while the track temperature is 32 degrees. It is bright and sunny, as it was yesterday and as it is expected to be tomorrow.
McLaren had the edge yesterday, Lewis Hamilton heading a 1-2 for the Woking outfit. However, while the media focus should have been on the possibility of a third consecutive win for the silver cars, it was the continued speculation as to Hamilton's future that dominates the headlines.
Behind the two McLarens were the two Ferraris however, failures in both sessions for Fernando Alonso, engine in the first and gearbox in the second, meant that the tifosi left the track looking a little more worried than might be expected.
Michael Schumacher was quickest in the morning and, strangely, his time remained the fourth best of the day overall. A DRS problem in the afternoon severely restricted the German's pace however, the fact that his Mercedes teammate finished fifth behind the McLarens and Ferraris could bode well for the German team. Then again, reliability has been a problem this season especially for the German.
Mark Webber correctly pointed out that there is no world championship for Fridays therefore the fact that the Milton Keynes cars finished eleventh and thirteenth should be taken with a pinch of salt. While it is tracks such as Singapore which is more likely to suit the Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel's turnaround in Belgium should not be dismissed.
Kimi Raikkonen upheld honour for Lotus while (Romain Grosjean stand-in) Jerome d'Ambrosio continues to familiarise himself with the car, the Frenchman having done a sterling job of it.
Sauber and Force India are next up, as they usually are, while it is the lack of pace from Williams and more particularly Toro Rosso that surprises.
Other than Hamilton, the other big talking point here is the fact that, thus far, there is no significant difference between the two tyre compounds, the hard and the medium. Schumacher's time in the morning session, 0.132s off Hamilton's morning time, was posted on the harder rubber.
Overnight, after discovering a problem overnight, Force India has opted to change the gearbox on di Resta's car meaning that the Scot has a five-place grid penalty.
The lights go green and Angry Bird Kovalainen leads the way, followed by Pic, di Resta, Kobayashi, Massa, Vergne, Raikkonen, Glock and a whole host of others.
Just three minutes into the session all twenty-four drivers have been out, however, only Karthikeyan, whose track time was compromised by an exhaust issue.
In the Ferrari garage Felipe Massa poses for a picture with Luca Badoer and his son. Good to see the Italian after the torrid time he suffered after deputising for the Brazilian in 2009. The former F3000 champion still works for Ferrari as a road car test driver.
After several minutes of total inactivity Hulkenberg and Perez break the deadlock. They are soon joined by a number of other drives including Rosberg and Hamilton.
Hulkenberg posts 30.583 but this is soon beaten by di Resta (26.670) and then Perez (26.620).
As Raikkonen posts 26.215, Alonso, sitting in his car, shade in place, watched dispassionately. The Spaniard is just one of five drivers not on track.
Perez retakes the top spot with a 25.894, only to lose it when Hamilton crosses the line at 25.816.
Having gone quickest in the two final sectors, Perez posts 25.508 as Schumacher improves to eighth with a 27.731.
As Webber goes ninth (26.935) and Vettel tenth, a 25.781 sees Raikkonen move up to second.
Maldonado is sporting a new helmet livery, it includes the slogan… "less trouble more speed".
Senna goes second with a 25.718 but is quickly demoted when Hamilton bangs in a 25.165.
With 39:20 on the clock the Caterhams and Ferraris have yet to post a time.
Currently eleventh, Button improves to second with a 25.233 having gone quickest in S1.
Vettel improves to seventh despite a nasty wobble in the Parabolica, a corner to be treated with total respect.
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