Track action at Spa Francorchamps got under way on Friday and in the first practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was at the top of the time sheet. The Finn clocked 1:47.339 for half a second clear of the rest of the...
Track action at Spa Francorchamps got under way on Friday and in the first practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was at the top of the time sheet. The Finn clocked 1:47.339 for half a second clear of the rest of the field but teammate Felipe Massa did not set a time. He went off track at Rivage on his installation laps, the cause of which is currently unknown.
The McLarens lined up behind Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton ahead of Fernando Alonso in second and third respectively. Although the World Motor Sport Council has stripped McLaren of its constructors' points, and the team is not allowed to score any more this season, Hamilton and Alonso can still fight for the drivers' title and are currently at the top of the standings.
Nick Heidfeld's BMW Sauber was fourth fastest and Robert Kubica was sixth, the pair separated by the Williams of Nico Rosberg in fifth. Rosberg has been appearing towards to the top of the times in practices quite regularly recently and usually leaves teammate Alex Wurz some way behind. But this morning Wurz was up there too, seventh behind Kubica. Only Heidfeld was within a second of Raikkonen.
Jarno Trulli was the lead Toyota in eighth and Ralf Schumacher was 12th. Heikki Kovalainen's Renault was ninth and Giancarlo Fisichella 11th, with Jenson Button's Honda in between them, the last of the drivers to be within two seconds of Raikkonen's time. The second Honda of Rubens Barrichello was 15th, a second down on Button's time.
The Red Bulls were nose to tail, Mark Webber 13th and David Coulthard 14th and the rest from Sebastian Vettel's Toro Rosso in 16th on down were all over three seconds off the lead Ferrari. The Super Aguris of Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson were 17th and 18th and Adrian Sutil's Spyker, 19th, was in front of Tonio Liuzzi's Toro Rosso. The second Spyker of Sakon Yamamoto was 21st and Massa was at the back with no time.
It was a fairly eventful morning, with not only Massa off but also Liuzzi in the gravel at Malmedy. Yamamoto was another in trouble when he went off at the Bus Stop; he managed to miss the barriers but appeared to stall the car, although it could have been a mechanical problem. Several other cars also had minor spins but no real problems. Final top eight classification: Raikkonen, Hamilton, Alonso, Heidfeld, Rosberg, Kubica, Wurz, Trulli.