World champion Lewis Hamilton made the most of his modified McLaren car to surprisingly clock the quickest German Grand Prix practice lap during opening tests at the Nürburgring yesterday. Although Red Bull's Mark Webber was quickest in the morning, Hamilton became more confident in the afternoon's second session. The Englishman posted a lap-time of 1min 32.149secs to sucker-punch the dominant Red Bull and Brawn teams with just four minutes of practice remaining. Hamilton - who has failed to finish on a podium this season - ran with a new front wing, diffuser and top bodywork.
"It's always great to be at the top of the time sheets," said McLaren's engineering director Paddy Lowe. "The job now is to translate that into some points. "We have made a step with the car. The pieces we have brought worked and we hope they will make a real difference," he added. Hamilton's teammate Heikki Kovalainen - who did not run with all the updates - finished way down the order. "Unfortunately, we did not have enough of the new parts to give the same package to Heikki," said Lowe.
Championship contenders Sebastien Vettel - whose Red Bull suffered electrical problems in the morning - and Jenson Button completed the top three. Red Bull's Webber ended the session in fourth place. It was another day to forget for Ferrari. Their drivers Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen toiled throughout, finishing 12th and 16th, respectively. @Email:email@example.com