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In motorsports Ferrari's hopes for a Formula 1 comeback took a big step forward in Germany on Friday. Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in practice for the German Grand Prix, round 11 of the F-1 World Championship.
Heavy rain created a challenge for the drivers at Hockenheim. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton spun out of control in the the morning session. He slid across the grass and clobbered a tyre wall,causing extensive damage to his McLaren. Hamilton faces a hard weekend ahead in Germany.
German racing legend Michael Schumacher won four times here in his glory days. He clocked one minute, 16.971 seconds in the afternoon to place sixth on the timesheet for the Mercedes team.
Mark Webber took fourth, just behind Ferrari's resurgent Felipe Massa. Massa is trying regain his season-starting form. He made the podium in both Bahrain and Australia, but has struggled since. Massa practiced solidly in the top 5.
Sebastian Vettel is third German in the top 6. He prevented a one-two for Ferrari with a time of one minute, 16.294 seconds in his Red Bull. Vettel made a dramatic comeback in the last race after suffering an opening-lap puncture in a tangle with teammate Webber. He placed second in practice on Friday.
But the session belonged to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard bounced back from 19th on the timesheets in the morning to clock one minute, 16.265 seconds in the afternoon, the fastest time of the day.