F1 2012 Belgian Grand Prix: Spa practice ruined by rain

PUBLISHED: 16:48 31 August 2012 | UPDATED: 22:32 31 August 2012

Lewis Hamilton driving at Spa during 2011 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes / www.mclaren.com]

Lewis Hamilton driving at Spa during 2011 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes / www.mclaren.com]

HOCH ZWEI

FORMULA 1 practice as Spa-Francorchamps was almost totally washed out by the rain today (Friday) with McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton completing just seven laps ahead of 2012 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying.

"A Formula 1 car would be fun to drive even if it were snowing, so I just enjoyed every little bit of lap I had."

Lewis Hamilton

The 27-year-old F1 star from Hertfordshire was only 15th fastest this morning (Friday) with a time of 2m 16.827s after torrential rain hit the circuit in Belgium.

And the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ace enjoyed even less time out on track after lunch, as the weather deteriorated, with rivers of water running across the track.

He completed just a couple of laps of the famous Spa circuit in the second free practice session, but didn’t record a time.

Hamilton’s McLaren colleague Jenson Button was 16th quickest in the morning session and, like Lewis, didn’t post a time in FP2.

Lewis Hamilton factfile

* Car 4: Lewis Hamilton

* Age: 27 (January 7 1985)

* GPs : 101

* Wins: 19

* Poles: 22

* FLs: 11

* 2012 points: 117 (4th)

“It’s been incredibly wet today – there were lots of rivers running across the track and lots of aquaplaning, so you had to be very wary out there,” said Hamilton.

“There’s no real benefit to be gained from pushing the car, but there are always things we can learn, so we did a couple of installation laps to check the effects of the upgrades we’ve brought to this race and see how the tyres switch on in the wet.”

Despite the weather making it a frustrating day, 2008 F1 world champion Hamilton was delighted to get back behind the wheel after the sport’s summer break.

He said: “Nevertheless, it’s great to be back out on track. A Formula 1 car would be fun to drive even if it were snowing, so I just enjoyed every little bit of lap I had.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “It’s hardly surprising to be here in Spa and find that the weather is cold, wet and misty.

“Unfortunately, that means that Formula 1’s much anticipated return after the summer break has been effectively pushed back by 24 hours because none of the drivers were able to set representative times out there today.

“Despite the limited running, we were able to conduct a little bit of useful work, evaluating the performance of our aerodynamic upgrades and looking at tyre performance.

“With the field so closely covered, even the tiniest scrap of data can be useful.”

Qualifying for the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix starts at 1pm on Saturday.


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