Alonso ahead as rain disrupts first practice

2013 Belgian Grand Prix first practice

Fernando Alonso led the times as rain disrupted practice at Spa-Francorchamps.

Sporadic showers created problems for teams in the first 90 minutes of practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The track was damp when the session began and only a handful of teams were tempted to run on intermediate tyres in the tricky conditions. Among them were Lotus and Sauber, both eager to complete some running with their drag reduction devices.

As the track began to dry Red Bull were the first team to send their drivers out on slick tyres. Once they were happy the conditions were stable enough they took advantage of the brief window of dry running to test a new front wing.

The track was at its busiest at this point with almost every driver lapping at the same time. The beginning and end of the lap were the last to dry, and driver after driver out-braked themselves and ran wide at the the chicane. Lewis Hamilton had a near-miss when he was caught out by Esteban Gutierrez braking earlier than he expected for the corner.

The Lotus drivers missed the opportunity to run when the track was at its driest and ended up at the bottom of the times as the rain returned late in the session. The track improved enough for several drivers to return to the track in the final minutes, but none were able to improve their lap times.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’55.198 11
2 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’55.224 0.026 10
3 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’55.373 0.175 11
4 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’55.518 0.320 14
5 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’55.614 0.416 10
6 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’55.636 0.438 14
7 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’55.954 0.756 18
8 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’56.110 0.912 11
9 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’56.770 1.572 14
10 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’56.858 1.660 18
11 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’56.863 1.665 10
12 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’57.081 1.883 14
13 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’57.084 1.886 17
14 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’57.281 2.083 14
15 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’57.358 2.160 10
16 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’57.821 2.623 16
17 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’57.887 2.689 16
18 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’58.600 3.402 14
19 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’58.929 3.731 12
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’59.209 4.011 12
21 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’59.441 4.243 11
22 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2’03.176 7.978 15

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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19 comments on Alonso ahead as rain disrupts first practice

  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 23rd August 2013, 10:34

    Is it going to wet for the first half of Quali?

    • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 23rd August 2013, 10:41

      Hmmm, let me consult my crystal ball (throw tea leafs, chicken bones and some salt in the air).

      Oh would that be around 13:10 or 13:17?

      Either way, the weather will be what it will be and we’ll know during the first half of qual.

      • From 13:10 – 13:17 it’s OK as qualy starts at 14:00 in Belgium. I think your tea leafs made you wrong @psynrg, as in belgium it’s more like hops leaf.

        • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 23rd August 2013, 14:34

          But I’m not in Belgium as I write so 13:10 – 13:17 it is. Were I in Belgium I would only do my weather predictions using the finest Yorkshire tea. The Belgians do brew some of the finest beers to drink but useless for accurate climate analysis.

          My highly prized prediction so far say it may rain or it may not rain. Beat that!

    • Mikey said on 23rd August 2013, 10:41

      Hope so! It could mix the field up nicely

  2. maybet said on 23rd August 2013, 10:39

    Lotus ‘s LWB upgrades failed to materialize as it failed the front nose test scrutineer by FIA.

    If PDRS failed to materialized again, they basically running the same car as they had in hungary.

  3. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 23rd August 2013, 10:54

    It’s great to see Alonso topping the table – even though a wet FP1 is hardly conclusive :p
    Fingers crossed for improvement by Ferrari! Rooting for a Merc win though ;)

    • karter22 (@karter22) said on 23rd August 2013, 12:29

      True. My prediction is : they do great on all practices, they fail in qualy and end up 5-9 and then in the race, ALO manages to fight his way up to 2nd or 3rd. It has gotten to be so predictable it´s annoying!

  4. Libellula (@ladyf1fanatic) said on 23rd August 2013, 11:40

    It’s Friday, Friday! Don’t read too much in Friday’s free practices time ;-)
    I’ve waited for this moment -even if i was on holidays but you know any F1 fan can’t always take his/her mind off -like 4 weeks ago and here’s come the rain to spoil it?… tut tut >:(

  5. karter22 (@karter22) said on 23rd August 2013, 11:52

    Still a big question mark! I hate practice sessions… can´t draw any conclusions from it. I´ll take Felipe´s time as reference instead. :(

  6. W-K (@w-k) said on 23rd August 2013, 12:13

    Why for the practice sessions are the headlines always about the driver who luckily did the fastest lap?

    If the rain had held off a minute or two longer,what is the betting Kimi would have been fastest.

    A fair heading would be;
    ” Changeable weather for 1st practice”
    “We don’t know who is fastest”

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 23rd August 2013, 12:33

      Why for the practice sessions are the headlines always about the driver who luckily did the fastest lap?

      Because if they weren’t, the headlines would be ‘Cars go round track’, and the articles would contain even less information.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 23rd August 2013, 13:23

      Alonso ahead as rain disrupts first practice

      I really can’t see how you can fault that headline. It doesn’t mention the word “fastest” and is every way both accurate and a reasonable of the most salient points in only 7 words.

  7. raj (@rajaaryan) said on 23rd August 2013, 13:08

    why is star sports not broadcasting f1 practice sessions in india .what happened

  8. Ferrari is strong, as it has been all year bar a couple of races. The problem is that Alonso is a chronic under-performer in qualifying and will likely do no better than 4th on the grid despite having a car really suited to Spa.

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