Sebastien Bourdais enjoyed a strong start to the Belgian Grand Prix weekend on Friday, finishing proceedings P7 in the combined times, despite conditions which were less than ideal.
Bourdais, who has notched up just two points this season, after finishing seventh first time out in Australia, was right on the pace in the opening practice session, his best effort a 1 minute 48.557 seconds, which was four tenths up on his Scuderia Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
While the Frenchman wasn't so confident in FP2, when conditions were mixed, he still managed a 1m 49.948s, which left him 13th.
"This is the most beautiful track, but the conditions are often a pain in the arse and with the dry tyres in the drizzle we had this afternoon, if you touched the white line you would crash. So I didn't take any risks, especially as you don't learn much in these conditions," explained the ex-Champ Car star.
"The morning session was quite good and now we just have to find a solution to the fact I am locking the rears. Apart from that, we have found a reasonable balance and I feel happy with that as I think we were quite competitive this morning and in general, we look in good shape for the weekend."
Vettel meanwhile was less happy in FP1, but more comfortable in the afternoon, when instead of being four tenths slower than his team-mate, he was actually around four-tenths quicker.
"It was an interesting day and as expected, the weather made for some pretty strange conditions," he continued. "Especially in the afternoon, it was important that we got some dry laps, to get another look at how the car was performing, having made some changes to it, as I was not completely happy with it in the morning. The afternoon showed it was much better."
Asked about the changeable conditions, unlike Bourdais, Vettel was actually quite excited by it all: "I thought it was cool to drive in these conditions as you have no margin for error: 10 centimetres the wrong way and you can crash. You have to be very precise and it demands very accurate driving," he added. "When you push, you start to feel your balls in your pants! It was interesting and I like it."