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Trulli sets pace in rain-hit practice

It's the Belgian Grand Prix, it's Spa Francorchamps, so no surprise then that the first free practice was coloured by heavy rain for much of the last hour of the session.

The weather, which began to soak the Ardennes circuit after just 28 minutes of the 90, meant that only ten drivers set competitive times in that dry period.

Jarno Trulli topped those times, having set his 1m49.675s lap, just moments prior to the downfall - which began at the bottom of the circuit around by Stavelot.

Jenson Button was second quickest for Brawn, having spent 10 minutes before the rain gradually working his times down. Fernando Alonso was third, as ever, bravely ignoring the elements to set fastest lap as the rain began to fall.

Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were fourth and fifth.

The two rookies were also the first out in the wet too as the team bolted on extreme wets and sent them out for education purposes.

The Swiss in particular did well and was the quickest wet runner for some time working down to a 2m06.067s before spinning off at Pouhon and damaging his nosecone. He did return to the track later and improved on that to lap in 2m05.400s.

Giancarlo Fisichella reminded Ferrari of his skill-set by going fastest of all in the wet 2m03.972s.

Several drivers, including Alonso, tried the intermediate tyres near the end of the session, but the circuit was still too wet. Nevertheless Nico Rosberg and Alonso did set the second and third fastest times on their final laps.

Luca Badoer was slowest of the dry runners. The Italian ran off the track a couple of times in the wet too, though he looked more at home in the wider confines of Spa.

McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen also went off in the last ten minutes at Rivage, but rejoined the track without damage.

Pos  Driver       Team                       Time              Laps
 1.  Trulli       Toyota                (B)  1:49.675            13
 2.  Button       Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  1:50.283  + 0.608   18
 3.  Alonso       Renault               (B)  1:50.368  + 0.693   13
 4.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:51.045  + 1.370   20
 5.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:51.529  + 1.854   24
 6.  Barrichello  Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  1:52.321  + 2.646   18
 7.  Raikkonen    Ferrari               (B)  1:52.930  + 3.255   16
 8.  Kovalainen   McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:53.383  + 3.708   11
 9.  Kubica       BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:53.650  + 3.975   12
10.  Badoer       Ferrari               (B)  1:55.068  + 5.393   20
11.  Fisichella   Force India-Mercedes  (B)  2:03.972  + 14.297  11
12.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota       (B)  2:04.505  + 14.830  13
13.  Grosjean     Renault               (B)  2:05.513  + 15.838  13
14.  Heidfeld     BMW-Sauber            (B)  2:05.614  + 15.939  14
15.  Nakajima     Williams-Toyota       (B)  2:05.705  + 16.030  15
16.  Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  (B)  2:05.839  + 16.164  10
17.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault      (B)  2:06.181  + 16.506   6
18.  Glock        Toyota                (B)  2:06.331  + 16.656  15
19.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault      (B)                       1
20.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes      (B)                       4

All Timing Unofficial
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