Red Bull’s Mark Webber tops final Belgian GP practice

By Gareth Llewellyn
red bull f1
(Photo: Red Bull Italy)

red bull f1

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS – Mark Webber topped the timesheets in the final practice session ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix as rain once again affected the teams’ preparations.

The teams were rewarded for their patience over on Friday with 45 minutes of dry running at Spa-Francorchamps before the heavens again opened towards the end of practice as teams scrambled to scrub intermediate tyres ahead of qualifying.

Webber’s fastest lap of 1:46.106 was one tenth quicker than championship rival Lewis Hamilton’s. Webber’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel was third-quickest, despite suffering a worrying engine problem and coming to a stop in the pit lane. Vettel later emerged to do a quick shakedown, albeit in the wet.

Reigning world champion Jenson Button was fourth-quickest for McLaren, suggesting that despite Ferrari’s dominance of the first two practice sessions with Fernando Alonso, it appears that qualifying will be a shoot-out between Red Bull and McLaren.

Robert Kubica continued to impress for Renault as he lapped fifth fastest, with the team using its F-duct for the first time, ahead of Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Adrian Sutil lapped eighth fastest for Force India – almost a second slower than Webber, with Williams’ Nico Hüklenberg and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi rounding out the top 10.

Mercedes’ dreadful weekend continued as Michael Schumacher could only take 14th fastest – 1.5 seconds slower than Webber, with team-mate Nico Rosberg in 15th. Schumacher, with his 10-place grid penalty, could end up at the back of the grid if he fails to qualify higher than that.

Lotus again got the jump on Virgin Racing at the back as Jarno Trulli was quickest of the new boys – six tenths quicker than Hispania Racing’s Bruno Senna, followed by the second Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen, ahead of Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock, with Sakon Yamamoto 5.8 seconds slower than Webber as the slowest man round.

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