Pic on top in soaked Spa practice
31 August 2012 – At the start of Marussia’s 50th Grand Prix weekend since joining Formula 1 as Virgin Racing, Charles Pic has officially set the fastest time in second practice at Spa. It looked as though no times would come across the rain-affected 90 minutes, but several drivers were classified despite beginning their final runs in the pit lane.
Formally, Pic might have been fastest, but in reality this was the first time in seven years that not a single competitive lap time had been registered in an F1 session; this last happened, ironically, when only three cars ventured out of the pits here at Spa back in 2005.
With heavy rain, strong gusts of wind and low air temperatures, Friday was arguably the most uncomfortable day of the season so far for race fans, who had been keen to see the field back in action after the month-long summer break. Frustrations grew in the paddock, not least for Lotus who were more than eager to trial their Double DRS which was planned to be raced for the first time this weekend. Ferrari also found themselves with a quandary, as they had wished to compare low and high downforce rear wings with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
Nico Rosberg was first on-track for Mercedes, breaking what had already been a 48-minute silence since the green light illuminated. There were two spins during the hour and a half, as both Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock lost control at Les Combes; the right-left chicane, which is at the end of the DRS zone, has been the scene of a number of incidents throughout the day as drivers out-braked themselves and took to the run-off area.
As the weather is forecast to be dry on Saturday with another chance of rain on Sunday, tomorrow’s third and final practice session promises to be hectic as the field scrabbles for space on-track to attempt an acceptable car setup ahead of the 44-lap race.
Third and final practice starts at 11am local time (BST +1) on Saturday and can also be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report