Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 1 - Belgium

Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 1 - Belgium

Championship challenger Kimi Raikkonen started the Belgian Grand Prix weekend in aggressive mood when he out-paced his McLaren team test driver Alexander Wurz to take top spot in Friday's opening practice session.

Raikkonen, who is chasing a 27-point deficit to championship leader Fernando Alonso, put the team on top again at a wet Spa-Francorchamps circuit with a late lap time of 1:48.206 in the opening one-hour session.

Austrian Wurz finished just one hundredth of a second slower than Raikkonen in a McLaren one-two but their third driver Juan Pablo Montoya did not get out of the garage during the session.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso also chose to stay in the pits rather than put mileage on his engine but his Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella finished third fastest to show the team are also on the pace here.

Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta ended up fourth fastest with Australian Williams driver Mark Webber fifth, Briton Jenson Button sixth for BAR-Honda and Italian Jarno Trulli, in the second Toyota, seventh.

World Champion Michael Schumacher, who struggled for form in the last two races, finished eighth fastest for Ferrari having been hoping for rain to give him a chance this weekend.

His brother Ralf Schumacher finished ninth fastest in the third Toyota and Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, of Red Bull Racing, rounded out the top ten with his teammates Christian Klien and David Coulthard both failing to complete a lap.

Clear blue skies on Thursday were replaced by cloud and the overnight heavy rain, which lightened up in the morning, had ensured the track was wet by the time the session began.

Few drivers ventured out onto the circuit even though their teams are expected to need a strong wet set-up with worsening weather predicted for the rest of the weekend.

With less than 20 minutes to run just five cars had set a time with Zonta leading the way on a time of 1:50.580 ahead of Red Bull tester Liuzzi and Jordan tester Kiesa third.

But a flurry of activity, as usual, in the closing minutes of the session saw the times drop as the racing line on the track dried out with only Fernando Alonso and Juan Pablo Montoya choosing not to run a lap.

Minardi test driver Enrico Toccacelo lost control on the slippery track at Blanchimont and spun into the gravel, touching the barrier lightly as he came to a stop.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:48.206 5 2. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:48.216 + 0.010 18 3. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:48.619 + 0.413 6 4. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:49.445 + 1.239 22 5. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:49.692 + 1.486 4 6. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:49.890 + 1.684 7 7. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:50.542 + 2.336 9 8. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:50.564 + 2.358 4 9. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:50.820 + 2.614 8 10. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:50.951 + 2.745 17 11. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:51.003 + 2.797 7 12. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:51.177 + 2.971 5 13. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:52.173 + 3.967 7 14. Massa  Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:52.236 + 4.030 9 15. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:53.148 + 4.942 9 16. Pizzonia Williams-BMW (M) 1:53.535 + 5.329 4 17. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:53.807 + 5.601 9 18. Kiesa Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:54.437 + 6.231 17 19. Doornbos Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:54.973 + 6.767 8 20. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:55.174 + 6.968 7 21. Toccacelo Minardi-Cosworth (B) 2:02.502 + 14.296 5 21. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) No Time 1 22. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) No Time 1 23. Alonso Renault (M) No Time 0 24. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) No Time 0 All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Stoddart Not Ruling Out Red Bull Deal
Previous article

Stoddart Not Ruling Out Red Bull Deal

Next article

Schumacher Praying for Rain at Spa

Schumacher Praying for Rain at Spa
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Plus

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great Plus

How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great

John Surtees and Enzo Ferrari parted ways amicably but could have achieved more together. On the weekend that Formula 1 makes its bow in Qatar, a country best-known for staging bike racing, NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the career of the formidable ‘Big John’ - the first man to achieve success at the highest level on two and four wheels

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2021