Sat, Sep 01, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Heavy rain leaves F1 fans disappointed in Belgium

AFP, SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium

Formula One fans were left disappointed yesterday after heavy rain meant very little track action during the second practice for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Not a single lap time was set during the 90-minute afternoon session and only 15 drivers spent any time on the track as teams opted to save their limited supplies of wet weather Pirelli rubber and avoid any damage to their cars, with better weather predicted for the rest of the weekend.

Almost an hour had passed before German Nico Rosberg of Mercedes decided to brave the soggy Spa track. A handful of drivers followed, but were quick to return to the pits.

Germany’s Michael Schumacher had the most running in the other Mercedes, still a mere four laps.

MORNING SESSION

That meant Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi topped the times for Sauber after yesterday morning’s rain-drenched first practice session.

The 25-year-old Japanese was one of a handful of drivers to complete more than 10 full laps.

Kobayashi went fastest with half-an-hour remaining, before improving on his time nine minutes before the end of the first session, clocking a lap of the historic circuit in 1 minute, 11.389 seconds.

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Williams was just 0.5 seconds slower in second, followed by Toro Rosso drivers Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, who were third and fourth fastest respectively.

FASTEST CONTENDER

Red Bull driver Australian Mark Webber, fifth quickest, was the fastest of the title contenders, followed by Mexico’s Sergio Perez in the second Sauber.

Germany’s Rosberg was seventh fastest, followed by Finland’s Valtteri Bottas in the other Williams.

Schumacher, who celebrates his 300th Grand Prix this weekend, was ninth fastest in the other Mercedes, followed by his compatriot Sebastian Vettel, who completed the top 10 in the second Red Bull.

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