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Belgian GP: Second practice

2012-08-31 16:43

ONLY THE BRAVE: Charles Pic was one of only 18 drivers to venture out onto the rain-soaked Spa-Franchorchamps on Friday. Only ten of those drivers posted times.

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Rain washed out Belgian Grand Prix practice on Friday, August 31, 2012 with Formula 1 fans huddled under umbrellas in the forests while drivers took shelter in the garages.

The afternoon session ended without a timed lap on the board, although some extremely slow times were registered on the screens after drivers went out to perform practice standing starts on the grid.


Marussia's French rookie Charles Pic was top of that list, almost certainly the only time this year that the tail-ender will find himself in such a position, with a time of two minutes 49.354 seconds.

The lack of activity after lunch meant that Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi could claim to have recorded the fastest lap (2:11.389) of any driver in August - an easy feat given that Friday's morning session was the first since the end of July when the August holiday break started.

Ferrari's F1 championship leader Fernando Alonso spent most of the afternoon as a spectator as teams gave up any attempt to test new developments.

Alonso, who has a 40-point lead over Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber after 11 of the 20 races, had been 22nd in the morning with a time 29.360 seconds slower than Kobayashi.

While television commentators padded furiously to make up for the lack of track action, teams and drivers kept themselves amused on social network Twitter.


"Someone's fired up an engine. Probably just trying to keep warm," commented @redbullf1spy from somewhere in the paddock.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton posted a picture of his racing boots and team mate Jenson Button joked he might have to get his triathlon wetsuit out.

"And now we go and have a cup of tea...," declared Ferrari's official feed as the chequered flag finally came down on the afternoon.

Nico Rosberg did take his Mercedes out for a few test runs, with his team feeling the need to advise him to watch out for puddles, and he was followed by team mate Michael Schumacher.

Neither completes laps, coming in to the pits again immediately without crossing the finish line.

Schumacher, steering gingerly around a circuit he fondly calls his "living room", must have felt more like someone had left the bath running upstairs as he splashed through the downpour.

The German was wearing a new helmet to mark his 300th grand prix but it was hard to see that through the rain-spattered on-board camera.

Kimi Raikkonen, winner four times at his favourite circuit and a good bet for victory with Lotus on Sunday, was 23rd in the morning and 35.191 off the pace in the first session.

The Finn's race lap record, set with McLaren in 2004, is 1:45.108.

Alonso's Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa was the only driver to end the morning without setting a lap time and he pulled up at the end of the session with smoke billowing from his Ferrari's engine.

"Conditions are terrible. Unbelievable how much water," said Force India's Nico Hulkenberg over the team radio in the afternoon.

Belgian GP first free practice times

Belgian F1 GP second free practice times
1 Charles Pic Marussia 2min49.354
2 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 2min49.750
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2min50.497
4 Paul Di Resta Force India 2min51.333
5 Pastor Maldonado Williams 2min51.660
6 Timo Glock Marussia 2min52.076
7 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 2min53.232
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 2min58.232
9 Nico Huelkenberg Force India 2min59.125
10 Sergio Perez Sauber 3min12.901
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes
13 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham
14 Lewis Hamilton McLaren
15 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
16 Jenson Button McLaren
17 Felipe Massa Ferrari
18 Bruno Senna Williams
19 Mark Webber Red Bull
20 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus
21 Romain Grosjean Lotus
22 Vitaly Petrov Caterham
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT

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