Felipe Massa was fastest in the second practice session at Silverstone.
But Friday’s second 90 minutes of practice saw even wetter conditions than the first.
The weather had improved in the interval. But five minutes before the second session was due to start the heavens open and heavy rainfall doused the track.
A handful of cars came out as the session began, but they soon retreated back to the pits without setting a time.
As the rain continued to hammer down the track fell silent until more than half the 90 minutes had passed.
Finally the rain eased and cars began to appear on the circuit again, led by Jaime Alguersuari, who set the fastest time to begin with.
One by one further cars appeared. Nico Rosberg was among the first to follow, but he had a moment at Abbey and ran onto the run-off area.
The times continued to improve and made for an exciting ends to a session that had started very slowly.
In the end it was a question of which driver started their lap last. Felipe Massa snatched the quickest time with a 1’49.967.
Barely a few minutes earlier Michael Schumacher had set the quickest time. But the time improved so quckly he ended the session in 12th place.
Nico Rosberg took second place, seven-tenths of a second off Massa.
Kamui Kobayashi and Lewis Hamilton, the latter one of the last drivers to join the track, were third and fourth.
2011 British Grand Prix
- 2011 British Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your British Grand Prix driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Webber made a number two driver again
- Ferrari back on form after poor start to 2011
- McLaren: Fuel and pit errors add to problems
- Renault: Heidfeld salvages points from poor weekend
- Mercedes pass Renault in the championship
- Force India squander points chance
- Sauber: Perez claims best-ever result
- Toro Rosso: Alguersuari battles Buemi for point
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