Belgian GP - A weather wipe-out in Belgium
Francorchamps, 31 August – If you are told that Fernando Alonso completed a total of seven laps over three hours of free practice for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix and that his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa managed only four, none of them timed, you would assume it had been a very bad day for the Prancing Horse. Truth is, this was a day more suited to swans than stallions, or to powerboats rather than powerful cars. The Spa weather is always a talking point, but even by the wet standards of the Ardennes, today’s rain, especially in the afternoon was particularly heavy.
It meant that none of the teams did much running – to quantify this, in FP2, Hulkenberg in the Force India, did the most laps, a paltry 5. According to the forecast, tomorrow and Sunday should be dry, so tomorrow’s final free hour of free practice will be particularly busy, as teams work to cram in an entire preparation programme for qualifying and the race into a mere 60 minutes. Understanding the behaviour of the Hard and Medium Pirellis will make up a large part of this work, especially as the Medium was not used here last year, because the Italian tyre supplier brought the Hard and Soft compounds. The entire paddock had been looking forward to returning to racing at Spa after a month's break, but thanks to the rain, that sense of expectation now continues until tomorrow.