Lewis Hamilton fastest at Silverstone, with Caterham the most optimistic

Ferrari technical chief Pat Fry felt comparing pasta would have been more useful than racing in Friday's free practice conditions – but Lewis Hamilton would probably disagree.

The Brit was fastest around a drenched Silverstone in his McLaren, while the Hethel-backed Lotus of Romain Grosjean was quickest in the morning session.

'It wasn't the busiest day ever due to the weather conditions but still…the car looks to be good and consistent,' said the Frenchman.

'I would have liked to have more track time but due to the regulations on tyres we didn't want to use up all our wet tyre allocation as more rain is expected on Saturday and Sunday.'

The muddled order and limited running from teams left plenty of questions unanswered ahead of the weekend's British Grand Prix – apart from those for Hingham's Caterham.

The Norfolk marque put on a load of new part on their CT01 and saw Heikki Kovalainen an eye-catching seven in the final Friday shake-up. And according to his team-mate Vitaly Petrov, even in the damp squib of free practice he could tell the team's updates were a big improvement.

'A little bit the weather disturbed our plans and in the wet you cannot compare precisely, but at least we can see definitely part of the big improvement we can make; we can definitely see a positive effect,' said the Russian.

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'It was straight away. You could feel it and on the data you could see we had more downforce than before.'

The new exhaust and wing package will stay on the CT01s for the weekend – a package designed by Caterham's new performance director, ex-McLaren man John Iley.

'It was funny to see John's face because for him it was very important to show us he'd done this,' added Petrov. 'It was really nice to see, because we really feel this package is working for us. Tomorrow we will push as much as we can and see what this really can bring us.'

Bruno Senna sent his Williams aquaplaning into the wall as the weather got the better of him, while Fernando Alonso lost the front wing of his Ferrari in the final exchanges of the afternoon.