Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Webber fastest in second practice at Belgian Grand Prix in heavy rain

AP, SPA, Belgium

Red Bull driver Mark Webber sits in the pits at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit yesterday in Spa, Belgium.

Photo: AFP

Red Bull’s Mark Webber posted the fastest time before heavy rain returned to mar second practice for the Belgian Grand Prix yesterday.

The Australian clocked 1 minute, 50.321 seconds, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso second quickest in 1:50.461 and McLaren’s Jenson Button third in 1:50.770.

Heavy rain affected the morning’s first practice and although the conditions were much improved, another big downpour arrived nearly one hour into the second session.

Defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel was only 10th fastest, but took no risks in the treacherous conditions.

Veteran Michael Schumacher posted the fastest time in a rain-soaked first practice.

The seven-time Formula One champion, who made his debut at Spa 20 years ago, went out early when the track was still dry and before the rain starting lashing down.

The 42-year-old clocked a best time of 1 minute, 54.355 seconds, with his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who also went out early, second quickest in 1:54.829.

British driver Jenson Button was third fastest, but more than eight seconds behind Schumacher.

There was a lull for about 20 minutes as the downpour was so heavy that most drivers — including defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, Button and his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton — preferred to wait for it to abate.

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