Kobayashi heads wet first practice session at Spa

2012 Belgian Grand Prix first practice

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Kamui Kobayashi was the quickest driver in a very wet first practice session at Spa-Francorchamps.

After a five-week break the weather ensured the fans at Spa had to wait a little longer to see much F1 action. Rain fell steadily at the beginning of the session, discouraging most drivers from doing anything more than installation laps.

The one exception was Kamui Kobayashi, the only driver to set a time in the first half of the session, setting a best time of 2’17.705.

It wasn’t until the second half of the session that the rain eased and drivers began taking to the circuit. The Toro Rosso pair came out first and were joined by Kobayashi.

Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado improved on Kobayashi’s best time, but the Sauber driver took the top spot back with a best time of 2’11.389.

Towards the end of the session the rain returned before several drivers had gone out in the best of the conditions. But all the drivers were on-track for the final moments in order to do practice starts.

Michael Schumacher, Paul di Resta and Pastor Maldonado all had brushes with disaster at Eau Rouge as the track conditions deteriorated – Schumacher in particular having a sudden twitch as he touched the kerb on the way into the corner.

In the final moments of the session Felipe Massa pulled over at the Bus Stop chicane with more than just water spray coming from the back of his Ferrari. “I’ve lost my engine – the engine is broken,” he told his team.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
114Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari2’11.38920
218Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault2’11.9410.55214
316Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari2’12.0040.61512
417Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari2’12.8241.43515
52Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault2’13.1911.80213
615Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari2’13.8612.47216
78Nico RosbergMercedes2’14.2102.82114
819Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault2’14.6603.27116
91Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault2’14.8603.47112
107Michael SchumacherMercedes2’15.4024.01313
1111Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes2’15.8124.42311
1224Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth2’16.4095.02016
1312Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes2’16.7865.39710
1421Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault2’16.7885.39916
154Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes2’16.8275.4385
163Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes2’16.8615.4728
1725Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth2’17.5196.13014
1820Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault2’18.1996.81010
1922Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth2’19.5468.15712
2023Dani ClosHRT-Cosworth2’19.6898.30012
2110Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault2’38.70127.3129
225Fernando AlonsoFerrari2’40.74929.3604
239Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault2’46.58035.1919
246Felipe MassaFerrariNo time2

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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Image © Sauber F1 Team

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Kobayashi heads wet first practice session at Spa”

  1. Somehow I am starting to hate these wet sessions, be it practice, quali or race :(

    1. After 5 weeks waiting, I was surprised to see myself looking around and not giving any attention to F1 between 20′ and 45′ Hopefully a bit of action at the end to make it for the session but yet, that’s not the real F1 yet …
      Let’s hope it will stop raining for this afternoon but that’s not sure yet, and that’s Belgium

    2. With a predictable championship (as we had not so far in the past) the rain will add excitement with unpredictability and a chance of a surprise result, but in the case of an already unpredictable championship and changing relative performances of all teams at all races, the rain will only add a second layer on top of that, making it frustrating to try and get a clear picture of who’s better, who’s worse. I think that halfway through the season, a lot of people would like to get an idea of how things might turn out by the end of the season, but with a wet session after a summer break, you can’t get any meaningful information in that regard.

      1. Exactly what I meant..so dear Rain GOD, no more here please, both the championships already pretty much unpredictable, now please give us a chance to get some idea about the performance advantage/disadvantages of the teams.

  2. No more rain spoiled practices!! It’s interesting to hear that Marussia also bring Double DRS update. It is said that if there’s dry practice, they will test it.

    1. They need to sort the aero out on the rest of their car before flapping around with double DRS

  3. Don’t know how much the weather is going to change in next 2/3 hours, but can we expect a dry session in FP2?

    1. I’m 40 km away from Spa and it has been dry for 1h30 but that doesn’t mean much as rain can be very local here in Belgium and very difficult to predict, so I’m not sure anyone really knows how will be FP2 until few minutes before FP2 … Have to wait and see, again

    2. Commentators on MTV3 said that rain is expected to fall for the rest of the day, and should be even heavier than in FP1.

  4. Its odd that Mclaren, who have admitted themselves that they are struggling in the wet this year, did so few laps in practice. Surely that’s what practice is for?

    1. I would think so, but maybe they rely on the forecast which says dry Qualy and Race.
      Still, with testing ban, I think the Laps in wet could help later in the year?

    2. Think its too much rain, they would not race in these conditions so no need to gather data.

      1. Hmmm, wasn’t too much rain for all the other drivers. Kobayashi put in 20 laps in the morning, no problem. It was only at the end of the session where it started getting a bit iffy. I’ve noticed the “top” teams don’t like to do much running at all in wet practice sessions though. Notice Alonso prefers to sit in his leather throne than go out and it doesn’t appear to effect his performance.

    3. Saving tyres > everything else

      1. @kodongo There is no more rain expected this weekend so this is nothing to do with saving tyres. This is purely a case of them having too little useful information to gain and too much to lose if they have a crash.

  5. Does this mean that Massa will have to use 3 engines in total this weekend? I know you’re not allowed to use the same engine from FP for quali and the race and obviously they will have to replace the one that’s just blown.

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