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Belgium 2008: Friday Afternoon Practice

Belgium 2008: Friday Afternoon Practice

With the second 90 minute practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix came the rain, washing the track and making the drivers shy about setting lap times. Although the session wasn’t a complete wash-out, the times set are noticeably slower than in the morning, and a lot of drivers complained about lack of running. One driver who wasn’t complaining though was Fernando Alonso, who finished his Friday duties on top of the timing sheet.

The downpour lasted for about 35 minutes, the main victim being Mark Webber who didn’t make it back to the pits – his Red Bull ended up in the tyre barrier. Once the rain had ceased though, the drivers poured out on to the track to get some running in, but the surface was still very slippery. It wasn’t long before the red flag was waved though as Kimi Raikkonen caught a white line and spun around, nudging the tyre barrier with his rear wing. A slow traipse back the pitlane for repairs essentially ruined the Finn’s afternoon. To add to the calamity, Raikkonen’s incident allowed water from the tyre wall to leak out down the corner, and combined with some lost fluid from the Ferrari, meant that Turn 9 suddenly became very treacherous.

Giancarlo Fisichella discovered this added danger the hard way as spun around several times, clouting the armco as he went. Nelson Piquet Jr too had a similar off, almost repeating Kimi’s efforts identically. However, after a further wait and in the dying moments, Nico Rosberg ventured out and the times started to tumble. On hard dry tyres though, Alonso took control and popped in a surprise quick lap that would remain until the chequered flag. Felipe Massa couldn’t match Alonso and by the time the Ferrari had conceded defeat, the drizzle started to fall again.

Notable lap times came from the Scuderia Toro Rossos again, emphasising good pace from the Ferrari-powered car. Sebastian Vettel readdressed the morning order by going seventh, ahead of team mate Sebastien Bourdais who settled for thirteenth. Adrian Sutil manage to get up to eighth, giving Force India a consolation prize as they started to mend Fisichella’s battered car.

Belgium 2008: Friday Free Practice Two

1. Fernando Alonso Renault 1m48.454s 21 Laps
2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m48.504s 15 Laps
3. Heikki Kovalainen McLaren 1m48.740s 19 Laps
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m48.805s 17 Laps
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m49.328s 10 Laps
6. Nico Rosberg Williams 1m49.405s 17 Laps
7. Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m49.427s 28 Laps
8. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m49.585s 22 Laps
9. Jarno Trulli Toyota 1m49.715s 22 Laps
10. Nick Heidfeld BMW 1m49.725s 21 Laps
11. Robert Kubica BMW 1m49.875s 22 Laps
12. David Coulthard Red Bull Racing 1m49.922s 20 Laps
13. Sebastien Boudais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m49.948s 20 Laps
14. Timo Glock Toyota 1m50.281s 23 Laps
15. Kazuki Nakajima Williams 1m50.364s 20 Laps
16. Giancarlo Fisichella Force India 1m50.740s 11 Laps
17. Jenson Button Honda 1m50.925s 18 Laps
18. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1m51.238s 22 Laps
19. Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault 1m51.334s 18 Laps
20. Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m51.640s 7 Laps

Oliver White

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