Friday practice - Spa

By on Friday, August 26, 2011

Mark Webber set the pace at a Spa Francorchamps circuit affected by intermittent showers throughout the afternoon. After morning practice was largely rained off, conditions steadily improved until Fernando Alonso became the first driver to venture out on slick tyres. Alonso lowered the benchmark to a 1m53 before he was joined by his rivals on similar compounds. A frantic few minutes followed as Mercedes and Red Bull swapped positions at the top with Webber sitting pretty when the rain began to fall with forty minutes of the session remaining. No-one was able to improve their times, with wet running in order until the chequered flag flew. Michael Schumacher, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut, topped morning practice but ended up eleventh in the afternoon, whilst Vitaly Petrov was rooted at the back of the pack after steering problems restricted his running.

So what is the running order ahead of qualifying tomorrow? Well practice times should never be read too greatly, but it appears that Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull will be at the front yet again. Red Bull looks strongest, although not with the huge advantage they enjoyed before the British Grand Prix. At first glances, it appears that the option tyre is a lot faster than the prime tyre at Spa, although a lot of that will be down to the lengthy lap (just over seven kilometres). In a dry race, a three stop strategy looks favourable, with longer stints on the faster option tyre. Red Bull looks fast through S2 – a sector that includes the likes of Pouhon – which could assist them by the time they reach Radillon and the DRS activation zone. At the moment, you’d tip Red Bull (or perhaps Alonso) in the dry and if it rains, then you can’t look past the McLaren duo, particularly Button. However, it is far too early to place money on a winner.  Back in the midfield, Force India look to carry over their form from recent races (and they traditionally run well at Spa), whilst Michael Schumacher will be looking to make a positive impact on his special occasion.


Pos Driver Team/Car 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   8
 4.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      2m03.752s  + 9.397s   10
 5.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      2m04.301s  + 9.946s   7
 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  8
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  8
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  7
24.  Daniel Ricciardo    HRT-Cosworth          2m14.933s  + 20.578s  11


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


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