31 August 2012
Drivers find little cheer in Friday wash-out
Up and down the pit lane at Spa, the story was the same: drivers waiting and watching as the rain continued to fall, leaving little point for the cars to go out on Friday.
There was little for drivers and teams to report after Friday proved a dismal wash-out for much of the scheduled F1 free practice time.
"It's a shame when there's so much water, as we'd love to go out on track more, but you can't," said world champion Sebastian Vettel. "It's a shame for fans around the track - it's quite windy and probably not so nice out on the grandstands.
"It's a shame because we love Spa and it would be nice to do some more laps, but in the end you can't really learn much in these conditions," agreed his Red Bull team mate Mark Webber. "We got some info from FP1, but you can't race when there's so much standing water on track and you probably wouldn't qualify in this, so in the end we just put the car to bed tonight and come back tomorrow."
"You can't race in these conditions, as the tyres can't get rid of the water," agreed Vettel. "Hopefully [the fans] can come back tomorrow with dry clothes and we'll have some sunshine – that's the forecast anyway!"
Vettel's compatriot Michael Schumacher - fresh from having been made an honorary citizen of Spa on Thursday - did his best to take a turn out on track to satisfy his legion of fans in the area, but in the end even the 'rainmeister' was thwarted.
"Unfortunately the weather today did not allow us to do much more than just basic work as there was too much rain coming down in both sessions," he said. "There was a lot of aquaplaning, even when just cautiously cruising around the circuit which sometimes you did not see or expect at all, so proper driving was not possible."
"Although it was raining hard, we learned a little about the behaviour of the car today - we collected some data for the starts, balance and tyre temperatures as you can always learn something in the rain," said his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg. "It wasn't dangerous as long as you went slowly where the big puddles were," he insisted.
"It's the same for everyone and we will all just be thinking about tomorrow now," said Pastor Maldonado down pit lane in the Williams F1 garage. "It was quite a frustrating day, not being able to get much running."
Valtteri Bottas had possession of the other Williams car in the slightly more productive FP1 morning session, but even so had found it very hard to cope with. "It was very slippery out there today in difficult conditions," he said. "Visibility was poor when it was raining and when there were cars in front, but we still got a good amount of laps in."
Pedro de la Rosa
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