Aug 23

Formula One teams Belgian Grand Prix free practice report

Belgium Grand Prix Formula One free practice

Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Spa-Francorchamps.





Formula One teams Belgian Grand Prix free practice results


Pos. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
01 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 1:49.331   22
02 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 1:49.390 +0.059 34
03 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 1:50.149 +0.818 34
04 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:50.164 +0.833 27
05 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:50.253 +0.922 28
06 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault 1:50.318 +0.987 33
07 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:50.510 +1.179 21
08 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes 1:50.536 +1.205 27
09 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG 1:50.601 +1.270 33
10 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 1:50.611 +1.280 27
11 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 1:50.629 +1.298 30
12 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:50.751 +1.420 27
13 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari 1:50.972 +1.641 33
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams Renault 1:50.991 +1.660 28
15 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 1:51.195 +1.864 28
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:51.447 +2.116 26
17 Valtteri Bottas Williams Renault 1:51.568 +2.237 28
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 1:51.644 +2.313 26
19 Giedo Van der Garde Caterham Renault 1:53.157 +3.826 21
20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault 1:53.251 +3.920 29
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth 1:53.482 +4.151 28
22 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth 1:54.418 +5.087 12


Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing



  • First Practice Session: Position: 6, Best Time: 1:55.636, Laps: 14
  • Second Practice Session: Position: 1, Best Time: 1:49.331, Laps: 22

“We don’t know what happened when I got the puncture in P2. We lost the rear right, very suddenly, so we need to have a look – Pirelli is working on finding out why it happened. Other than that, it was a positive day. This morning was tricky with a few rain drops and the track was slippery; it’s a lot colder here than Hungary, but that’s Spa and part of this circuit. This afternoon, we had stable conditions and both of us seemed happy with what we had.”


  • First Practice Session: Position: 19, Best Time: 1:58.929, Laps: 12
  • Second Practice Session: Position: 2, Best Time: 1:40.390, Laps: 34

“It’s always tricky here to get the right set up for the whole lap, so we took the opportunity today to try some different ones. We’ll go through it tonight. We had a pretty good run today but there’s still some performance to find and we need to get the car a bit better balanced in certain conditions. Overall we got good information and it was good to have stable conditions this afternoon.”



This is undoubtedly one of F1’s great venues, a place where the incredible challenges of the circuit, and the conditions, provide all kinds of drama, from drivers pulling no punches when overtaking on track to drivers almost throwing a few in pitlane, as Mark and David respectively recall…

2011: Mark pulls off an incredible overtaking move on Fernando Alonso at Eau Rouge

Mark: “Unless you’ve been to Eau Rouge, you don’t see how steep it is on the run to it. We plummet downhill and then smash into the bottom of the corner. At that moment, I just had the momentum, I pulled to the left and thought, ‘yeah, I can make this work’. You’ll look back at that in years to come and think ‘that’s when you were at your peak, performing well, driving against the best and sometimes beating them’.“

1998 and DC feels the full force of Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari… and his anger

David: “After we collided in the rain, we drove back to the pits, Michael on three wheels and me with no rear wing and pulled into our respective garages. I got out of the car and Michael was already running down the pitlane. He came into the garage, I could see he was angry and was shouting ‘were you trying to f***ing kill me?’. There were two mechanics between me and him and I shouted back ‘you ran into the back of me’. The only trouble was I was still wearing my helmet, so he couldn’t hear me! As the two mechanics were there he couldn’t really get close, but I kept my helmet on just in case he fancied throwing a punch. If he had got close though, keeping the helmet on meant I could have given him a little Glasgow Kiss*.”

*Quaint Scottish slang for a head butt.

source: Red Bull Racing, redbullracing.com

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Belgian Grand Prix
Spa-Francorchamps, 23rd August 2013
ALONSO – chassis 299 MASSA – chassis 298
First Session P1 1:55.198 11 laps P11 1:56.863 10 laps
Weather: air 17/18 °C, track 18/19 °C. Cloudy, light rain
Second Session P7 1:50.510 21 laps P4 1:50.164 27 laps
Weather: air 24 °C, track 29/34 °C. Sunny

Fernando Alonso: “This was a good day, even if in the morning we, and in fact everyone, lost time because of the rain and so in the afternoon we found ourselves facing double the workload. Before drawing any conclusions, we need to wait for the analysis of the data acquired this afternoon from both cars. Felipe and I tried different aero configurations, with more and less downforce, which will be the real key to this race, along with the weather. In terms of today’s times, we have got closer to the favourites, but I’m not sure which weather forecast I would prefer. It’s true that in the rain, the cards on the table can be shuffled up, but in the wet there are as many chances to benefit as there are to lose. It will be important to have a good understanding of how the tyres are behaving in the dry, as well as finding out what happened to the Caterham, to Vettel and also to me on my in-lap. I don’t think it’s a similar problem to what we saw in Silverstone, maybe more of a random set of circumstances, but all the same, it needs careful analysis”.

Felipe Massa: “Today, the changeable weather had a big effect on the way free practice was run, with minimal running in the first session. But if we want to look at things in terms of a glass half full, then at least the few laps we managed in the morning were important, to give us an idea of the behaviour of the car in the wet, which is always useful here in Spa. In the afternoon, in the dry, we managed to get through our programme, testing some new parts and both types of Pirelli tyre. The outcome of the race simulation tells us that we have what we need to be on the pace and we will definitely do all we can to fight with the leaders of the classification”.

Pat Fry: “The race at Spa has always been a great challenge for the drivers and also for us engineers and this year, that seems to be very much the case, partly because of the uncertainty of the weather, which today was inclement enough to affect the running of our programme. Having a track that is only partially wet is the worst possible condition to start working on car set-up, because it limits the time available to test the balance and driveability with different aerodynamic loads. In the afternoon, we only partly made up for the time lost because of the rain as we evaluated all the possible scenarios on a track that requires an aerodynamic compromise that is one of a kind. Here, the rain is the big unknown and it certainly won’t help anyone”.

source: Scuderia Ferrari, ferrari.com

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

coming soon

source: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, mclaren.com

05 - Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Romain Grosjean set the third fastest time on the opening day of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, with Kimi Räikkönen sixth.

Rain affected proceedings in the morning session – during which the team ran evaluations with the Device – whilst dry conditions in the afternoon saw both cars run with slimline bodywork in non-Device configuration.

Technical Programme Notes:

Both cars ran the Device in the morning using Pirelli’s intermediate (green) tyres.
Both cars ran in non-Device configuration with slimline bodywork in the afternoon.
Kimi tried a new front wing in the afternoon.
Pirelli’s hard (orange) and medium (white) compound slick tyres were used in the afternoon session.
What We Learned Today:

Weather factors meant that there was insufficient track time to evaluate the Device in suitable conditions.
The car demonstrated good pace during the afternoon in all configurations utilised.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03
Free Practice 1: P21, 1:59.441, 11 laps
Free Practice 2: P6, 1:50.318, 33 laps

“It looks like it will be a difficult weekend to beat Red Bull but that’s what we must try to do”

Kimi: “I feel fine here today and the car was okay. It could have been a bit better, but it wasn’t a disaster either so for sure we can improve a bit more for tomorrow. The weather wasn’t great this morning and it’s certainly better for us when it’s dry. We had a little problem with the front wheel in the first session which meant we didn’t run as much as we wanted to. The afternoon was pretty normal. For sure it looks like it will be a difficult weekend to beat Red Bull but that’s what we must try to do if we want to catch them in the Championship.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-02
Free Practice 1: P22, 2:03.176, 15 laps
Free Practice 2: P3, 1:50.149, 34 laps

“The car felt pretty good and we’ll work on this baseline to continue to improve”

Romain: “It has been a busy day. We had planned to focus on evaluating our Device this morning, but with the changing atmospheric conditions we weren’t able to 100% complete all the tests so with more rain forecast we decided to take it off for the afternoon to concentrate on a more normal programme with long runs. It wasn’t that easy as we found it quite hard to make the tyres work the way we would like them to which meant that in the car the feeling might not have been so good, but timing-wise it was actually okay. The car felt pretty good and we’ll work on this baseline to continue to improve. We’ll wait to see what the weather will have in store for us.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:

“From the data we’ve seen so far we look reasonably strong on pace and tyre performance”

Alan: “Unfortunately the wet conditions this morning meant we weren’t able to get as much work done as we wanted on our Device so we elected to revert to a known set-up for the afternoon, with everything going to plan. Neither driver was entirely on top of their car, but given the conditions today I don’t expect any team was after the mixed weather in the morning. We concentrated a little on set-up and more on tyre evaluation ready for the rest of the weekend. From the data we’ve seen so far we look reasonably strong on pace and tyre performance, so we’re looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

source: Lotus F1 Team, lotusrenaultgp.com

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team


Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton completed the first two practice sessions in quite differing track conditions at Spa today.

The team completed a total of 80 laps of running during today’s two ninety-minutes sessions

The primary technical objective was to comprehensively evaluate new low-drag aerodynamic developments for this circuit

Both drivers completed high-fuel running on each tyre, Lewis ran longest on the prime compound and Nico on the option

Drivers No. Chassis No. Practice 1 Practice 2

  • Nico Rosberg 9 F1 W04 / 03 10 laps 1:55.614 P5 33 laps 1:50.601 P9
  • Lewis Hamilton 10 F1 W04 / 04 10 laps 1:57.358 P15 27 laps 1:50.751 P12
  • Weather Damp morning, dry afternoon
  • Temperatures Air: 16-24 °C Track: 16-34 °C

Nico Rosberg

It’s great to be back at the Spa circuit, particularly as our car is more competitive this year, and it feels such an improvement to drive through the quick corners here. I’m not entirely sure where we are compared to the others but it looks like it will be quite a tough challenge and, of course, it is a completely different track here to at the last race. Today went pretty well for us though and it could be an interesting weekend, particularly with the mixed weather conditions that are predicted.

Lewis Hamilton

We have some work ahead of us this evening to get the car feeling just right but overall today was a reasonable start to the weekend. The car feels very different here with the low downforce set-up, compared to at the last race, and we need to refine a few areas to get the balance sorted. We were able to get some good long run work done today and that’s the most important thing for the race. We’ve got time to make the changes required so I’m optimistic that tomorrow will see an improvement.

Ross Brawn

We had a good day overall. There were lots of new parts to test, we got that work done successfully and once the drivers had settled into their race simulation runs this afternoon, the lap times looked pretty respectable. We still have some work to do on our single lap pace but we think we know what needs to be done there in order to improve.

Toto Wolff

It was a decent day for the team and we completed all the programmes that we had planned today, in spite of the mixed conditions in the first session. The long-run pace looked good but we need to analyse why we were losing time in sector one over a single timed lap. The other factor we will have to consider this evening is the weather, as the forecasts suggest there will be rain around on Saturday and Sunday, which could influence some of the compromises we make in terms of set-up.


source: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, mercedes-gp.com

Sauber F1 Team logo

Sauber F1 Team

  • Shell Belgian Grand Prix – Practice – Friday, 23.08.2013
  • Weather: light rain, then dry, 17-24°C air, 16-34°C track

It was a typical mixed bag of weather conditions during the free practice sessions at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps today. Free practice one saw the Sauber F1 Team facing a wet and then damp track as conditions improved, while the afternoon was sunny. Sauber F1 Team drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez were quite happy with the car in the morning session. Following the afternoon session, both drivers felt the car could be improved. The team tested some new aero parts and continued the testing programme on the passive DRS system, which is making progress.

Nico Hülkenberg:

  • Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
  • 1st Practice: 8th / 1:56.110 min (11 laps) / 2nd Practice 13th / 1:50.972 min (33 laps)

“It was quite a tricky day with the mixed weather conditions this morning. We couldn’t really get a full run on slicks. Sectors two and three were dry, but sector one was wet. I think there is still room for improvement. We still have some work to do on the set-up, as things can and have to be improved. I wasn’t happy with the balance of the car. The tyres are behaving as usual: the medium compound is definitely quicker over one lap, as it provides more grip, but then we have to find out how long it will last during the race.”

Esteban Gutiérrez:

  • Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056)
  • 1st Practice: 7th / 1: 55.954 min (18 laps) / 2nd Practice 18th / 1:51.644 min (26 laps)

“In the morning we had some running on a track that was wet and damp. We were able to run some aero tests, but, unfortunately, we didn’t get through the whole programme. The qualifying simulation in the afternoon was not good. I lost part of the diffusor at the beginning of FP2, which impacted on performance. I’m not feeling very comfortable with the car. It’s tricky driving the car on relatively low downforce, and the balance is not quite right. Now we have to analyse the data and see how we can improve that.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:

“The rain that was forecast prior to FP1 gave us some practice in those conditions, which could well be useful later in the weekend. Both drivers were quite happy with the car this morning. In FP2, neither driver was quite as happy with the balance, so we definitely have some work to do tonight in order to improve that. We tested some new aero parts and continued our test programme with our passive DRS system. Overall this project is making progress and we will decide tonight wheather we will use it for the race on Sunday.”


source: Sauber F1 Team, sauberf1team.com

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2013 Belgian Grand Prix, Free Practice Report

Mixed weather in Spa saw today’s practice sessions take place on varied track conditions as Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil completed busy programmes.

Adrian Sutil VJM06-03

  • FP1: 1:55.373 P3 11 laps
  • FP2: 1:50.629 P11 30 laps

Adrian: “Quite an interesting day getting back in the car for the first time in almost a month. We were near the top of the times this morning in the damp session, but I had some balance issues to solve with the car so we made quite a few adjustments for this afternoon. When the sun came out the track conditions were very different so we tried some different downforce levels and need to choose the best approach for tomorrow. For the final few laps of the afternoon we made some progress and got the car closer to where we want it to be.”

Paul Di Resta VJM06-04

  • FP1: 1:55.224 P2 10 laps
  • FP2: 1:50.611 P10 27 laps

Paul: “Conditions were mixed this morning, but it was much better this afternoon. It’s safe to say that we seem to be further forward compared to where we were in Budapest and we always thought the car would be more suited to this track. At the moment it looks like we are in the mix for making the top ten, but we need to carry a bit more speed into qualifying. We know that the rain might come tomorrow, so we have to be ready to maximise the conditions.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal

“It’s been a fairly promising start for us with plenty of running for Adrian and Paul, especially in the afternoon session. The programmes went to plan, giving us plenty to think about tonight, and we have as much data as anybody on the tyres. There’s still some way to go to find the ideal balance with both cars and that’s the main task facing us tonight. The big question for the weekend is what the weather will do because there’s a good chance the rain will arrive just before qualifying. That would certainly make things interesting so we need to be ready to react quickly and be on track at the right time.”

source: Sahara Force India F1 Team, forceindiaf1.com

09 - Williams F1

Williams F1

Belgian GP Practice

Objectives: Set-up work, tyre work, and aero evaluations.

Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: We had limited running this morning due to the weather as the track was damp but this afternoon we completed our planned programme. We tested some different rear wing levels, worked on mechanical set-up changes and did some long runs on both compound tyres in preparation for the race. During both sessions we worked through some aerodynamic evaluations and will now look at the data to decide which direction to continue for the rest of the weekend and to be best prepared for the changeable conditions forecast for tomorrow’s qualifying session. We still need to work hard to also improve overall grip ready for the race.

Pastor Maldonado: Today I was struggling to get the right balance in the car and there is still a lot of work we need to do to get us to where we want to be. We are not very far from unlocking more speed, but the others around us are also making gains which makes it difficult to close the gap. Nevertheless we will try to optimise what we have and adjust the set-up to find improvements in the balance ahead of the weekend.

Valtteri Bottas: It was difficult to test anything in the first session because of the variable weather, with the track wet on one part of the circuit but dry on the other. The dry second session was more productive and we conducted some interesting tests so we will now be analysing the data from those to make improvements to the set-up for tomorrow. My car is currently more competitive on the prime tyre, and we still have work to do to improve the overall balance on the option tyre.


Track Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Circuit length 7.004 kms / 4.352 miles
  FP1 FP2
Weather Mild and damp Warm and dry
Air and Track Temperatures 16 – 19C / 16 – 17C 22 – 24C / 29 – 34C
P Maldonado, FW35-03 RS27-5447/2 1:57.081 (12th) 14 laps 1:50.991 (14th) 28 laps
V Bottas, FW35-01 RS27-5421/2 1:56.858 (10th) 18 laps 1:51.568 (17th) 28 laps
Quickest Time F Alonso 1:55.198 S Vettel 1:49.331

source: Williams F1, williamsf1.com

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso



Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03)


  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:57.084, pos. 13th, 17 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:50.253, pos. 5th, 28 laps

“It’s really nice to be racing again after the break, especially at this fantastic track. Friday went very smoothly for us. The morning conditions were not ideal, as it was too wet for dry tyres and too dry for the rain tyres, but we still learnt something which could be useful later in the weekend, even if the tyres never got up to temperature. Then, we had a good FP2, with the car showing excellent pace over a single lap. The long run was a bit more difficult, but all the same, I feel we have a good car this weekend, whether we run in the dry or the wet. Probably one of the best first days I’ve had: there were no problems and the car seems to be working well.”

Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-01)

  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:56.770, pos. 9th, 14 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:51.447, pos. 16th, 26 laps

“Conditions this morning were the ones no one really likes, with part of the track dry and part wet. We ran on Intermediates, but the dry bits of the circuit meant the tyres got a bit chewed up. In the afternoon, we split the workload between the two cars. We tried a direction on my car that we believed would work, but unfortunately it didn’t. However, the good news is that Jev seemed to be on the pace, so we can look at his data and get a useful compromise for both cars. I’m not happy to be down the bottom of the timesheet, but it’s not a reason to be discouraged, because I feel we can deliver tomorrow and aim to get both cars well up the grid.”

Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance): “More rain is forecast for this weekend, so this morning was a useful session in the damp, changeable conditions. More generally, it was an important day on track for the team, after two difficult race weekends in Germany and Hungary. We have been working hard to get back to where we want to be in terms of the hierarchy of the teams and today we experimented across both cars, as it is important to keep moving forward on the development of the car. This explains the difference in performance between our two drivers and so tonight we will analyse the data as usual and try and take the best of both of them. Overall, it was a good day in which we tested a lot of things and hopefully we can confirm some progress tomorrow.”

source: Scuderia Toro Rosso, tororosso.com

Team Caterham logo

Team Caterham

Belgian Grand Prix – FP1 & FP2

Caterham F1 Team Partner Information
More than 140 000 employees in more than 170 locations work for EADS Group in its divisions Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter, creating products which are in use in more than 150 countries worldwide

FP1: Overcast, damp (start of session); min / max track temp 17°, air temp 17° – 18°
FP2: Dry, sunny; min / max track temp 30° – 33°, air temp 22° – 24°

Fastest laps / positions:
FP1: KOV 1.57.821, 16th / VDG 1.57.887, 17th
FP2: VDG 1.53.157, 19th / PIC 1.53.251, 20th

Total laps:
FP1: KOV 16 / VDG 16
FP2: VDG 21 / PIC 29


Heikki Kovalainen, car #20, chassis CT03-06

1001 – 1004: Run 1, installation lap, 1 lap (wet tyres)
Changes: n/a
1029 – 1039 Run 2, 4 laps (intermediate tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle, brake balance
1054 – 1113: Run 3, 9 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle, front / rear ride height, front / rear brake duct blanking
1123 – 1128: Run 4, 2 laps (hard tyres)

Charles Pic, car #20, chassis CT03-06

1401 – 1416: Run 1, 7 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle, rear anti-roll bar
1425 – 1440: Run 2, 7 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: brake balance, front toe
1450 – 1500: Run 3, 5 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1511 – 1531: Run 4, 10 laps (medium tyres)

Giedo van der Garde, car #21, chassis CT03-04

1001 – 1003: Run 1, installation lap, 1 lap (wet tyres)
Changes: n/a
1028 – 1037: Run 2, 4 laps (intermediate tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle, front / rear brake duct blanking
1053 – 1113: Run 3, 9 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle, rear brake duct blanking
1123 – 1128: Run 4, 2 laps (hard tyres)

1401 – 1417: Run 1, 7 laps (hard tyres)
1435 – 1445: Run 2, 5 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle, front / rear brake duct blanking
1451 – 1514: Run 3, 9 laps (medium tyres)
Accident in turn 15 ends session

Driver quotes

Heikki Kovalainen: “It felt good to be back in the car and I’m pleased to see how it’s developed since I last drove it in Barcelona. The whole package feels better balanced and generally it’s a good overall improvement behind the wheel. There’s a few things I could tell right away that are better – in general the ride has improved, there’s much less pitching and the front in particular feels stronger. Against that, the braking stability doesn’t feel great today, but that’s something that can be worked on pretty simply in FP2. Overall I’m pleased I had more time in the car and can continue to help the team progress.”

Charles Pic: “We went straight out in FP2 on the hard tyres and the car was ok but the main issue on run one was mid-to exit oversteer. We made a couple of mechanical changes for the second run but still had the oversteer issue but with more changes it had improved slightly for run three when we put the medium tyres on for the first time. The car was more calm on mid-to-exit but we found we had some issues on entry into the corners so for the long run we put on a bit more front wing and it did feel like we made some progress. We still need to make more improvements to the stability of the car on entry into the corners, but we can look at that more tonight, as well as keeping an eye on the weather forecast for tomorrow and even more for Sunday.”

Giedo van der Garde: “FP1 was a good start to the weekend. We did the installation lap on wets but for run one we went onto inters but the track was drying out pretty quickly so they didn’t last too long at all. It looks like quali and the race could both have similar weather conditions to FP1 so it’s good to have that information logged, but then we went onto the hard dry tyres for run two, giving us more information that the engineers can work on tonight.

“In FP2 the weather had improved from the morning session but the car didn’t feel great on the first run. We had a lot of oversteer on run one and not great traction so we made a change and went out for run two on the medium tyres. The first run on those was ok but we weren’t really able to get everything out of the softer rubber so there’s definitely more to come from the softer rubber. On the long run on the mediums the car felt pretty good, deg levels were ok but then in turn 15 the back end got loose and I unfortunately made contact with the barrier ending the session. We’re not sure why that happened yet but we’ll have a look at the data and investigate more tonight. Hopefully there’s a lot more to come, so a usual busy Friday night and I think we can make progress tomorrow.”

source: Team Caterham, caterhamf1.com

Marussia F1 Team logo

Marussia F1 Team


  • 2013 Formula 1™ Shell Belgian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 & 2
  • Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
  • Friday 23 August 2013
  • BIANCHI MR02-02 FP1 P20 1:58.600 12 laps FP2 P21 1:53.482 28 laps
  • CHILTON MR02-03 FP1 P18 1:59.209 14 laps FP2 P22 1:54.418 12 laps

After a four week break from the track since the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Formula 1 season resumed at Spa today with the first two free practice sessions for Sunday’s 2013 Formula 1™ Shell Belgian Grand Prix.

Warm and sunny conditions yesterday created a false dawn for the teams and the light drizzle greeting them ahead of this morning’s FP1 session was more typical of this circuit. This frustrated the start of the Marussia F1 Team’s programme for the day, as they alternated between wet and dry tyres at a circuit that, due to its length, can often see varying conditions throughout the lap.

This afternoon, dry conditions prevailed, allowing for a more constructive session where the Team focused on the aerodynamic set-up required to balance the unique demands of this circuit.

Jules Bianchi #22

“The summer break seemed like an eternity for me so, on the whole, it is good to be back in the car and to get the second half of the season underway. It has been a little bit of a frustrating day today though, firstly with the weather making it difficult to get into the swing of things, although the experience in the wet may be useful later in the weekend. There is some work to do yet to get the car working better here but on paper this should be a circuit that suits us better than the last few races before the break.”

Max Chilton #23

“I’m pleased with the way things started out for me today and with the progress we were making in FP1. The car was feeling good and the programme was working well. Things were looking promising for FP2 also but unfortunately we lost the last 30 minutes of the session because of a steering rack change. The guys worked hard to ensure I could get out at the end and so let’s hope for a more straightforward day tomorrow to pick up on the positives from this morning.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“The whole Team were pleased to be back racing today and it’s nice to be kicking off the second half of the season at such a fantastic circuit. After Hungary we spent a great deal of time evaluating our performance and we came to this event with a range of set-up options and developments to try in FP1 aimed at improving our package. Unfortunately the weather caught us out a little, as is often the case at Spa, and we were unable to test some of the developments effectively during the session. For FP2 we tried a different set-up on the two cars in order to gather as much data as possible. This proved extremely useful, however we didn’t achieve as much running with Max as we would have liked. Overall, we’ve gained a lot of useful information today and we are a little more confident in our prediction that this circuit suits our car better than was the case with the Hungaroring. We are looking forward to the rest of the weekend and hoping that all our homework pays off.”

source: Marussia F1 Team, marussiavirginracing.com

Pirelli logo



2013 Belgian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions



The Formula One teams faced mixed conditions during their first taste of the epic seven-kilometre Spa-Francorchamps circuit this year. The first free practice session in the morning was wet before the track eventually dried out, while the afternoon was completely dry with much warmer temperatures in the region of 22 degrees centigrade. As well as the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium slick tyres that have been nominated, the crews also used the Cinturato Green intermediate and the Cinturato Blue wet tyre today (the latter tyre only for a few laps).

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was quickest in the morning on hard tyres at the end of the changeable session. The fastest time of the day was set by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in the afternoon, with a benchmark of 1m49.331s on the medium tyre, ahead of his team mate Mark Webber. This was a lot quicker than last year’s equivalent time, which was set in wet conditions that are likely to surface again this weekend.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “This morning we saw some typical Spa conditions, with at one point the first and final sectors of the track being wet while the middle sector was largely dry. In the afternoon, the session was dry from start to finish, which enabled the teams to gain some more consistent data over long runs with different fuel loads. But a strong possibility of showers remains for the rest of the weekend, so all the running carried out so far is undoubtedly useful. Towards the end of the afternoon session, both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso had a puncture on their right-rear tyre around turn 14 and we are currently investigating the cause. From initial analysis it appears that both were caused by an outside factor, probably debris on the track. According to what we can see so far, we would expect to see between two and three pit stops on Sunday under normal race circumstances. However, with the risk of rain and safety cars that is an inherent characteristic of Spa, a flexible approach to race tactics is sure to pay off. A wide range of effective strategies is possible with the nominations that we have made this weekend. ”

Fastest tyre of the day:

FP1: FP2:
1.Alonso 1m55.198s Hard New 1.Vettel 1m49.331s Medium New
2.Di Resta 1m55.224s Hard New 2.Webber 1m49.390s Medium New
3.Sutil 1m55.373s Hard New 3.Grosjean 1m50.149s Medium New

Tyre statistics of the day:

  Medium Hard Intermediate Wet
kms driven * 1,975 3,592 623 28
sets used overall ** 23 44 22 4
highest number of laps ** 20 23 13 1

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

May the Force be with you:

Max. g-force braking (longitudinal force): -4.4 @ T18
Max. g-force cornering (lateral force): 4.64 @ T10

Pirelli facts of the day:

This year’s Belgian Grand Prix marks the 50th race since Pirelli re-entered Formula One at the start of 2011. In total, the Italian firm is competing in its 253rd grand prix this weekend, which have resulted in 93 wins, 96 pole positions and 100 fastest laps to date.

source: Pirelli, pirelli.com

Renault Sport F1 logo

Renault Sport F1

coming soon

source: renault.com

Cosworth logo


coming soon

source: Cosworth, www.cosworth.com/f1