Formula 1 News

Schumacher tops opening practice in Spa

For first time the year, the seven times champion leads a session. He was followed by his country man, Rosberg to make a Mercedes 1-2.
Friday, August 26, 2011

Spa-francorchamps, Belgium, Aug 26, 2011 (AFP) - Michael Schumacher topped the times for Mercedes during Friday morning's rain-soaked opening practice for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

The German, who celebrates his 20th anniversary since his debut in 1991 this weekend, clocked a lap of the Spa Francorchamps circuit in one minute 54.333 seconds on a dry track at the beginning of the session, just 0.5 seconds quicker then his Mercedes team-mate and fellow German Nico Rosberg.

As if to acknowledge the 42-year-old and seven-times champion's achievements, the heavens opened minutes afterward and prevented any following driver from beating his time.

Drivers were therefore forced to drive with extra care and caution and although the track began to dry towards the end of the session, never came close to matching Schumacher's time.

McLaren's Jenson Button was third fastest with a time of two minutes 02.740 followed by championship leader German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.

Button's teammate and fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton was fifth quickest ahead of German Adrian Sutil of Force India.

Brazilians Felipe Messa of Ferrari and Williams driver Rubens Barrichello were seventh and eighth quickest respectively ahead of Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari of Toro Rosso and Japanese Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber who completed
the top ten.

The session also saw a frustrated Bruno Senna spin off at turn nine on his debut for Renault as did Briton Paul di Resta of Force India.

See bellow for partial results:

BELGIAN GRAND PRIX PRACTICE 1 TIMES (FP1)
POS No. DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP LAPS
1 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:54.355 13
2 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:54.829 0.474 15
3 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2:02.740 8.385 8
4 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 2:03.752 9.397 10
5 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 2:04.301 9.946 7
6 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 2:04.663 10.308 18
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 2:04.728 10.373 10
8 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 2:05.391 11.036 12
9 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 2:06.583 12.228 16
10 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 2:06.886 12.531 15
11 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2:07.055 12.700 12
12 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 2:07.481 13.126 15
13 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 2:08.233 13.878 14
14 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 2:08.239 13.884 14
15 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 2:08.918 14.563 10
16 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 2:09.792 15.437 8
17 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2:12.278 17.923 13
18 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 2:12.389 18.034 10
19 25 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 2:12.772 18.417 13
20 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 2:13.058 18.703 8
21 20 Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 2:13.090 18.735 11
22 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 2:13.601 19.246 10
23 9 Bruno Senna Renault 2:14.340 19.985 7
24 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 2:14.933 20.578 11

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