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 Hülkenberg, 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.
Hülkenberg 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.