Persistent rain spells shaped the day's events at Spa-Francorchamps as teams experienced extremely limited track time this morning: unsuitable weather conditions caused the first session to be abandoned and the second to be delayed and curtailed...
Persistent rain spells shaped the day's events at Spa-Francorchamps as teams experienced extremely limited track time this morning: unsuitable weather conditions caused the first session to be abandoned and the second to be delayed and curtailed from 45 to 15 minutes.
In the brief practice period, Nick Heidfeld and Giorgio Pantano were able to set lap times not far from the pacesetters', however during qualifying the drivers reported a significant decrease in grip and felt that they had not got the mostthfrom the car. Heidfeld qualified 16th for tomorrow's starting grid while Pantano finished 19.
"I'm not satisfied. Relatively speaking, the car looked really strong this morning and we were not too far off the top ten and even then I knew that there was still room to improve further. Then in pre-qualifying and especially in qualifying, I lost grip and had a very loose rear end. But that happens: obviously, it's difficult for everyone to judge the conditions with so little track time in free practice. But still we have the race ahead of us and I'm looking forward to that."
"I'm a little bit surprised because I don't know what changed between pre-qualifying and qualifying! It's so strange to lose 4 seconds from the first to the second session. The car was different in qualifying, it was much more slippery. I think there is something wrong, whether it's the car or me I don't know but we need to understand what happened."
James Robinson, Head of race and test engineering:
"In race trim in the morning we ran solidly and the Bridgestone tyres worked well. This afternoon we had a good weather forecast that said it would rain later in the session so we were hopeful of getting the best of the track conditions within the first 30 minutes of qualifying. Unfortunately an early shower forced us to stay with the extreme wets and we could not maximise our position."