26/08/11 - 09:00
Belgian Grand Prix
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps • Free Practice 1

Free Practice 1

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Thanks for joining us this morning for the first of the free practice sessions, be sure to come back for the second coming up at one o'clock this afternoon.


Vettel and Sutil in fourth and sixth means there are four Germans in the top sixth, with Lewis Hamilton meaning it is Brits that complete those six places


A couple of late developments behind the top two as Jenson Button takes a minor personal victory to go fastest in the wet, but over eight seconds behind the leader


We are out of time now as the chequered flag falls, Schumacher and Rosberg maintain their top two positions that they just about got in in time before the rain came down


Jarno Trulli spins, but just about stays on track and there was no traffic around so no harm done


There appears to be a few spots of rain around again, no one wants to see that.


Hamilton then pips the Brazilian and goes within 10 seconds of Schumacher's time.


Massa sets the quickest wet time, but still along way behind the leading pair


Most drivers are back out there now, but running out of time this morning


The track is drying out quite nicely now, this first session will just run out of time before anyone goes back onto slick tyres but pnly just


Massa is out there, as is Hamilton, both are yet to set times


The session to re-start in just a few seconds time, and here come the cars now


Weather-wise the rain seems to have fully ceased now and once the recovery vehicle is out of the way there may be some half decent times set


Di Resta's Force India is being removed now and there will be time for a few more laps once that has successfully been extracted


Nothing going on again as the spectators look a little disgruntled having survived the downpour


The medical cars are out on track and off to have a look at turn nine which has proved perilous


The red flag has been waved after di Resta's crash


It appears the Scot just lost his rear end going into that corner and hit the barrier at a reasonable speed, he is perfectly fine though


Paul di Resta has gone off at turn 9, the same corner that Senna struggled with, he is side on into the barrier though but his session is equally over


Button takes third place and effectively that can be called first in the wet conditions.


Massa is back in the pits and it looks like his session is over, there appears to be a problem with his Ferrari, it isn't clear what


Button out there setting a competitive time


Vettel being told that he is deploying DRS too early


Bruno Senna being consoled by his team in the pits after his incident a few moments ago, he could do without added pressure considering his situation at Lotus Renault


Webber in third is over 15 seconds behind Schumacher's time in the dry, we will see times slowly improving though and catching up the leading two as the sun and the cars dry the track out


Alonso out on track with intermediates and moves up to fifth spot


The Mclaren boys have only completed three laps between them, they just don't fancy the wet weather


Webber's lap would suggest it is not the time for full wet tyres anymore, he did that relatively speedy lap on the intermediates


Mark Webber sets the best of the wet laps so far although not looking entirely comfortable all the way round


Stewards are recovering Senna's Renault, it did go into the barrier with a bit of a crunch, the yellow flags are out at that corner


More than half the drivers have set times now, but again it is largely irrelevant at this stage


Bruno Senna has spun off and is backed into the barrier at turn nine, there doesn't seem to be much damage done and he is certainly fine


There is certainly less spray being kicked up by the cars out there now than ten minutes or so before, but still a lot of water out there on the track


Sergio Perez runs off, but again no harm done and he slides back into the pits


Alguersuari is up to third, but the times are not really crucial at this stage as he is the best part of 20 seconds behind Rosberg's time in the dry earlier on


The decision between full wet and intermediate tyres continues to be the number one issue for the teams, most are out on full wet but one or two are gambling on the other compound


Schumacher himself runs very wide on Pouhon corner, but there is no issue as the run-off area is all tarmac


Buemi and Senna post times, but they will not be competing with Schumacher's time in these conditions


Still only three men have recorded times with Sutil posting a time well below the Renaults' earlier in the morning


Button and Hamilton certainly aren't heading back out as they are deep in discussion with their team in the pits


Just one lap for the Spaniard and he is back in the pits, more and more cars are returnign to the circuit though as Bruno Senna heads out


Here comes Fernando Alonso to give the improving conditions a test


Sutil already losing the grip from the extreme wet tyres, they won't last very long at all out there


Sutil out there on the full wet tyres and told that as soon as he feels them going to get back into the pits, it will take a little while for the track to dry off though, it is pretty well drenched


Out comes both Adrian Sutil and Jaime Alguersuari as the sun starts to come out and the rain has halted entirely


Hamilton back in the pits after one lap round, Button is in the pits looking very pleased he wasn't as brave/stupid as his team mate to go out there on the intermediates


The sun is just starting to show its face, that may be what has encouraged Lewis to keep the intermediates on, but it may be better to get the full wet tyres on after he aquaplanes momentarily


Hamilton braving the conditions now with intermediate tyres on, as was Vettel


Vettel told to watch out for small rivers by his team over the radio, not what you want to hear and he returns to the pits after a predictably pedestrian lap


Some what surprisingly Sebastian Vettel is out there producing an enormous amount of spray with every move, he is understandably driving very cautiously


If anyone is looking for a long-shot you can back the home favourite Jerome d'Ambrosio at 5000/1, could the Belgian fans spur him on, the bookies would suggest not


Looking at what the bookies think about this contest, they are still backing Sebastian Vettel to prosper despite only winning one of the last five races. After him come Hamilton and Alonso with Button "The Rainman" available at 7/1.


The rain has absolutely soaked the track and even when this stops the drivers won't be in a hurry to get out there with all the standing water around


Eavesdropping on Jaime Alguersuari's team radio they reckon this shower will only last another five minutes, but to be honest that looks pretty optimistic


After Jenson Button's performances in Canada and Hungary in the wet, does he become favourite for this race?


Still no one out there as the weather looks only to be getting worse. Have a browse of the Drivers Standings Table to keep yourselves entertained:


The radar isn't looking too promising as far as a return to action goes, and it has very quickly turned into quite a significant down pour


Nothing going on out there at the moment except plenty of spectators diving under umbrellas or their flags if they have not come prepared


The track completely emptying out now as the drivers look to get off the slick tyres and get on more appropriate rubber for this weather


Jarno Trulli the first to fall foul of the rain as he slides off onto the grass, no harm done though to him or his Lotus


Still only the two Mercedes men have recorded times, that may well not change for a while as the rain gets heavier by the moment


There are a few spots of rain around now, nothing too serious yet but it will keep the teams on their toes


Schumacher improves on his time to take it down to 1:54.355, but it is very early days


Everyone has made an appearance out there now, with Lewis Hamilton the last to emerge from the pits


The mercedes pair are the first to set times this morning, with Schumacher leading the way with a 1.55.007


Here comes Red Bull's Mark Webber as well as the track becomes very busy early on


The biggest names out there already are Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumancher along with a host of others who want to get out there before any rain arrives


Cars are out on track out in Belgium and the rain that is forecast is yet to arrive and the track looks eprfectly dry.


Good morning and welcome to our coverage of the first free practice session of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps