Belgian GP - Business as usual
The momentum of a Grand Prix weekend is pretty much unstoppable and so, although the world of F1 seemed to stop spinning for a few hours last night while waiting for the Paris verdict in the "spy story," today it was business as usual at Spa. And, also as usual, it was Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and McLaren-Mercedes who dominated proceedings in the first day of practice. In the morning session, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was quickest in the morning, although Felipe Massa had a less successful first session, going off the track and having to stop after doing just two laps and not posting a time. However, in the afternoon, it was the rival duo of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton who topped the time sheet, with the Scuderia's Brazilian driver in third place ahead of his Finnish team-mate fourth. Continuing the two by two theme, it was the Toyota's of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher who took fifth and sixth places respectively.
The return of the Belgian Grand Prix on the calendar has been marked by unusually sunny weather, especially as this year's event is being held later than the more traditional end of August date. The new facilities certainly bring the famous old track more in line with some of the more modern venues and so far the changes have been voted a success.
"Satisfied with the way thing went this morning, but a bit less happy about the afternoon would sum up my day," said Kimi. "This morning the car balance was very good, while we struggled a bit in the second session to find the right settings. We need to get the package we have to work better."
Luca Baldisserri commented, "Overall, this Friday has not thrown up anything different to any other first days of practice at the previous Grands Prix. We are struggling a little to do a good time on the first lap on new tyres, but our consistency in terms of performance over a long run is encouraging. We carried out the usual Friday tasks, comparing various aerodynamic and set-up options, as well as looking at the performance of the Bridgestone tyres."