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Williams reserve driver Valtteri Bottas hopes for a long career with the team reports Sky Sports. Bottas is backed by the new executive director so a race position next year is likely. As their reserve driver he often takes part in free practise 1 and has beaten Maldonado's time in over half the practice sessions. His time at Hungary was only 1.3 seconds off Hamilton's reports ESPN.

It is unclear who Bottas would replace. Maldonado and Senna have had extremely different seasons but currently are fairly equal on points. Maldonado won Spain but has not scored a single point in the six races since. Maldonado needs to reassess his approach to F1 if he wants a team to adopt him long term but Maldonado thinks his mistakes are normal reports Planet F1. By contrast, Senna has scored points in four more races this season than Maldonado and Frank Williams feels Senna came of age after a good race in Hungary reports Planet F1.

The Williams car is quite capable this year but they have not delivered the results they deserve regularly so bringing in a new driver is a good move. Maldonado should get the second half of 2012 to prove he can race more carefully but otherwise Senna looks like a safer long term driver for the seat. Interestingly, Barrichello - who was dropped by Williams this season - feels that Williams would be better off with himself back in the team reports Motor Sports.

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Heavy rain at Hockenheim practice sessions.

Free Practice Results
        FP1
FP2
1st
Button
Maldonado
2nd
Hamilton
Rosberg
3rd
Alonso
Vettel
4th
Schumacher
Perez
5th
Perez
Grosjean
6th
Hulkenberg
Hulkenberg
6th
Rosberg
Ricciardo
8th
Massa
Button
9th
Maldonado
Webber
10th
Grosjean
Raikkonen
11th
Kobayashi
Vergne
12th
Vettel
Massa
13th
Bottas
Kobayashi
14th
Ricciardo
Pic
15th
Raikkonen
Glock
16th
Bianchi
Senna
17th
Vergne
Kovalainen
18th
Petrov
di Resta
19th
Kovalainen
Hamilton
20th
Webber
Alonso
21nd
Pic
Petrov
22nd
Glock
Karthikeyan
23rd
de la Rosa
Schumacher
24th
Clos
de la Rossa

With rain interrupting both practise sessions they only provided limited information about driver potential this weekend. The drenched FP2 can largely be written off, the fastest time was 11 seconds slower than FP1 but the sections of clear running in FP1 has some interesting hints. Button topping the first session with Hamilton close behind is the major surprise. After their recent poor performance, the upgrade package brought to Hockenheim seems to have paid off. Hamilton still looks good for pole with Vettel off the pace during dry running. Button still has high odds after his poor performance but if the upgrades have restored his competitive edge substantial money could be made on a victory at 13/1 (14.00) from StanJames or a podium at 5/1 (6/00) from Ladbrokes. Alonso came 3rd, keeping up the pace of recent races. Pole is unlikely for the Spaniard but he will look to continue his challenges for victory. Red Bull came 12th and 20th but they are just hiding their pace and only FP3 will give information about their potential.

Schumacher timed 4th and Rosberg 7th suggesting they will challenge for a podium and certainly a top six position. Both have 3/2 (2.50) from Bet 365. Perez came 5th, looking very good for a high pay off bet on a podium since likely high tire degradation will work to his advantage, with odds of 32/1 (33.00) from Ladbrokes. Lotus have brought an experimental DRS system but never had much opportunity to test it in FP1. It is unknown if they will use it this race but if they do focus on Lotus for live betting: they usually do better in the race than qualifying and with an experimental system to boot they may pull some surprises if it works.

Odds above accurate at Friday 20th, 18.41 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © nic_r