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Maldonado on top in wet free practice

Pastor Maldonado claimed the fastest time on a drying track after a wet free practice this morning at Spa Francorchamps, setting his time on the last lap after changing to slicks to finish ahead of Alvaro Parente and Giedo van der Garde.

The Venezuelan's best time of 2 minutes 04.889 seconds put him almost a second ahead of his Portuguese rival, although team-mate Nico H├╝lkenberg, who had set a lot of the running earlier in the session, was likely to take the position after setting the fast first two sectors before pulling into the pits rather than crossing the line.

The session opened with a wet track under oppressively cloudy skies, although the rain had at least stopped falling as the teams took to the track, apart for Party Poker Racing.Com SC who had their cars impounded.

Vitaly Petrov and Parente set the early pace, although with the condition of the circuit most drivers were tip-toeing around to avoid any chance of an impact ahead of qualifying.

The times were falling throughout the session, but it wasn't until the closing minutes that the times really tumbled.

H├╝lkenberg risked putting on a set of slicks, along with his teammate and Parente, and the trio were easily able to beat their previous times.

With the conditions as they were most of the times will have little impact on what we can expect from qualifying this afternoon however, and it remains to be seen if those who risked the slicks have any advantage to carry over.



Related Pictures

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Pastor Maldonado - ART Grand Prix [pic credit: GP2 Media]
Tom Dillmann (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Tom Dillmann (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
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Daniel Abt (GER, Hilmer Motorsport), leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) & Artem Markelov (RUS, RT RUSSIAN TIME) at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) battle for the lead at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin), Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) & Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin), takes the chequered flag at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win in Parc Fermeat Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) and Alex Fontana, (SUI, ART Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) and Alex Fontana, (SUI, ART Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) in action at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) celebrates at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing), Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) & Nick Yelloly (GBR, Status Grand Prix), on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)

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