Belgian Grand Prix 2012: Kamui Kobayashi tops wet Friday practice

Belgian Grand Prix 2012: Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi sets the fastest time at a rain-drenched Friday practice at Spa

By Charli Burden
sauber f1
Kamui Kobayashi clocked the fastest time in the first practice session Photo: Sauber Motorsport AG

sauber f1

Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi braved the weather on the Spa circuit to top the timesheets in Friday practice ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Following Formula 1’s five week summer break, the bad weather disrupted both practice sessions.

With limited running in the first session, fans were left disappointed as many teams found the circuit too dangerous to drive in the second.

In the end, it was Sauber’s Kobayashi who finished fastest in the first session, 0.552 seconds quicker than Williams’ Pastor Maldonado.

Marussia’s Charles Pic took the fastest time in second practice with only 10 drivers setting a time and all of those were posted in the dying moments.

Showing the extent of the washout, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg completed five laps of the circuit – the most of any driver.

Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, who is celebrating his 300th Grand Prix this weekend,
demonstrated the wet conditions as he took a slide in the Eau Rouge corner.

Practice ended in a big cloud of smoke and engine failure for Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who is the subject of much speculation over his future at Ferrari.

belgian grand prix 2012

Wash out: Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull braves the difficult conditions in Belgium (Photo: Red Bull Racing/Getty Images)

His team-mate Fernando Alonso, the current world championship leader, joined both Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean as one of few drivers who did not do a flying lap.

The bad conditions meant that the large number of upgrades brought to the cars after the break were not properly tested.

However, the weather does look set to improve for the rest of the weekend.

Belgian Grand Prix 2012: Combined Friday practice times

1 Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 2m 11.389s

2 Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 2m 11.941s

3 Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2m 12.004s

4 Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2m 12.824s

5 Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 2m 13.191s

6 Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 2m 13.861s

7 Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 2m 14.210s

8 Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 2m 14.660s

9 Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 2m 14.860s

10 Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 2m 15.402s

11 Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 2m 15.812s

12 Timo Glock Germany Marussia-Cosworth 2m 16.409s

13 Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 2m 16.786s

14 Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 2m 16.788s

15 Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 2m 16.827s

16 Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 2m 16.861s

17 Charles Pic France Marussia -Cosworth 2m 17.519s

18 Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 2m 18.199s

19 Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth 2m 19.546s

20 Dani Clos Spain HRT-Cosworth 2m 19.689s

21 Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 2m 38.701s

22 Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 2m 40.749s

23 Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 2m 46.580s

24 Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari no time

25 Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault no time

26 Narain Karthikeyan India HRT-Cosworth no time

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