Ecclestone: Belgian GP will Go Ahead

Rain could turn Sunday's potentially title-deciding Belgian Formula One Grand Prix into a procession behind the safety car, drivers feared on Friday

Ecclestone: Belgian GP will Go Ahead

Some even wondered whether a race could be held in the sort of conditions that kept them off the track in practice, although Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone swiftly dismissed such talk.

"They've been racing in these conditions for years," he told BBC radio. "There'll be a race on Sunday."

Renault's 24-year-old Fernando Alonso, who can become the youngest champion if he beats McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen by four points at Spa, did just one installation lap at reduced speed in torrential rain.

The weather was too much even for Ferrari's seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher, who had said earlier that he was praying for rain to give his struggling team a chance of winning in unpredictable conditions.

"It was just too wet to go out," said the German after an afternoon session red-flagged when Red Bull's Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed out and that saw just three cars try to do a lap.

"I think we would have needed a boat propeller to power our way around the track.

"The forecast is for more rain and if that is the case on Sunday, I can see us having to start the race behind the safety car. Maybe our tifosi (fans) have done too good a job with their rain dance," added Schumacher.

Massive Accident

Liuzzi, Red Bull's third driver who will not race on Sunday anyway, went through the daunting Eau Rouge sweep at speed before hitting a pool of water.

"If it's raining like that on Sunday it would be too wet," said BAR's Jenson Button.

"You are not in control of the car in any way because as soon as you hit a big puddle like Liuzzi did, that's it and it could be a massive accident."

There has not been a wet race so far this season but the forecast for Saturday and Sunday predicts an 80 percent chance of rain on both days.

"I think today was a bit too extreme," said Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn.

"If it was as wet on Sunday as today, they would have to red flag it and suspend the race and get started again once it had eased it a little bit.

"It's always hopeful when the cars are running around because they shift the water.

"What we saw today was a situation with no cars running and maximum accumulation of water on the track. There was a river running through Eau Rouge and that would have been difficult."

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Series Formula 1
Author Alan Baldwin
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