Next: Hungarian GP 27-29 July

Friday, August 26, 2011



Michael Schumacher with golden helmet on his 20-th anniversary

As predicted at the first free practice in Spa we had rain. First and second position for drivers of Mercedes GP, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. They set their times before it starts raining and till the end no one was able to get closer to them. There was little driving in the first session, the rain started 10 minutes into the session, then 25 minutes no one came out on the track, and then we saw cars on full wet tyres, but the conditions do not allow some serious times.

In such conditions, the two drivers ended up in tyre barriers around the track and at the same place. First Bruno Senna, and later Paul Di Resta lost their cars in turn 9 and finished the session earlier.

On the wet track Jenson Button was the fastest driver with 2:02.740, second faster than Vettel and Hamilton was third with 0.6 seconds behind German. Satisfactory performance on a wet track from Jarno Trulli in a Lotus car. The teams are hoping for a dry track for the second free practice because meteorologists predict sunny race.

Pos     Driver             Team                  Time        Gap    Laps
 1.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1m54.355s             13
 2.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes              1m54.829s  + 0.474s   15
 3.  Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes      2m02.740s  + 8.385s   08
 4.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      2m03.752s  + 9.397s   10
 5.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      2m04.301s  + 9.946s   07
 6.  Adrian Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  2m04.663s  + 10.308s  18
 7.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               2m04.728s  + 10.373s  10
 8.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams-Cosworth     2m05.391s  + 11.036s  12
 9.  Jaime Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    2m06.583s  + 12.228s  16
10.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari        2m06.886s  + 12.531s  15
11.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               2m07.055s  + 12.700s  12
12.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        2m07.481s  + 13.126s  15
13.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus-Renault         2m08.233s  + 13.878s  14
14.  Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    2m08.239s  + 13.884s  14
15.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Cosworth     2m08.918s  + 14.563s  10
16.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      2m09.792s  + 15.437s  08
17.  Timo Glock          Virgin-Cosworth       2m12.278s  + 17.923s  13
18.  Tonio Liuzzi        HRT-Cosworth          2m12.389s  + 18.034s  10
19.  Jerome D'Ambrosio   Virgin-Cosworth       2m12.772s  + 18.417s  13
20.  Paul di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  2m13.058s  + 18.703s  08
21.  Karun Chandhok      Lotus-Renault         2m13.090s  + 18.735s  11
22.  Vitaly Petrov       Renault               2m13.601s  + 19.246s  10
23.  Bruno Senna         Renault               2m14.340s  + 19.985s  07
24.  Daniel Ricciardo    HRT-Cosworth          2m14.933s  + 20.578s  11


Mark Webber set the fastest time in a few minutes of dry running in the second free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. After the torrential rain of the morning session, conditions improved markedly for the start of the second session and the circuit saw a flurry of activity from the outset. As the conditions and track temperature improved, so the lap times tumbled with Michael Schumacher, Button, Alonso and Webber all trading blows at the top.

Spa being Spa, however, the rain did not stay away for long and it returned with half an hour of the session remaining but not before Webber leapfrogged Alonso and Button at the top of the times. That, effectively, put an end to the day's meaningful running but teams enjoyed a long enough window of opportunity to experiment with balance and car set-up on slick, intermediate and wet tyres.

Lewis Hamilton finished the session fourth fastest ahead of Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg. Schumacher, who finished the first session on top, was 11th fastest just behind Sebastian Vettel. The top teams were closely matched, as half a second separated Webber in first from Hamilton in fourth around the 110 second lap, while Rosberg in sixth was within a second of the headline pace. The times are still not fully reliable though, as those who were last on track before the rain came enjoyed the best conditions, and not everyone got time on the soft tyre.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car              Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1m50.321s            22
 2.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               1m50.461s  + 0.140s  18
 3.  Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes      1m50.770s  + 0.449s  9
 4.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1m50.838s  + 0.517s  9
 5.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               1m51.218s  + 0.897s  14
 6.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes              1m51.242s  + 0.921s  22
 7.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        1m51.655s  + 1.334s  20
 8.  Nico Hulkenberg     Force India-Mercedes  1m51.725s  + 1.404s  17
 9.  Paul di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  1m51.751s  + 1.430s  8
10.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      1m51.790s  + 1.469s  13
11.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1m51.922s  + 1.601s  22
12.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Cosworth     1m52.750s  + 2.429s  20
13.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari        1m52.780s  + 2.459s  25
14.  Jaime Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m52.911s  + 2.59 s  24
15.  Sébastien Buemi     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m53.009s  + 2.688s  24
16.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams-Cosworth     1m53.156s  + 2.835s  17
17.  Bruno Senna         Renault               1m53.835s  + 3.514s  20
18.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus-Renault         1m55.051s  + 4.730s  20
19.  Timo Glock          Virgin-Cosworth       1m55.494s  + 5.173s  22
20.  Heikki Kovalainen   Lotus-Renault         1m56.202s  + 5.881s  15
21.  Jerome D'Ambrosio   Virgin-Cosworth       1m56.816s  + 6.495s  20
22.  Tonio Liuzzi        HRT-Cosworth          1m57.450s  + 7.129s  19
23.  Daniel Ricciardo    HRT-Cosworth          1m57.612s  + 7.291s  24
24.  Vitaly Petrov       Renault               2m02.234s  + 11.913s 12