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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 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.



Related Pictures

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Pastor Maldonado - ART Grand Prix [pic credit: GP2 Media]
James Calado (GBR, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his victory after the Sunday sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Julian Leal (COL, Racing Engineering) celebrates after the Sunday sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR, Hilmer Motorsport) celebrates after the Sunday sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
James Calado (GBR, ART Grand Prix) - with Julian Leal (COL, Racing Engineering) in the background - celebrates his victory on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
James Calado (GBR, ART Grand Prix) leads the field into turn one during the Sunday sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
James Calado (GBR, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his victory after the Sunday sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service.)
James Calado (GBR, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his victory on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service.)
James Calado (GBR, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his victory on the podium with Julian Leal (COL, Racing Engineering) and Adrian Quaife Hobbs (GBR, Hilmer Motorsport) after the Sunday sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service.)
James Calado (GBR, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his victory on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service.)
Alexander Sims (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his victory on the podium with Conor Daly (USA, ART Grand Prix) after race 2 at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday August 25. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP3 Media Service.)
Daniil Kvyat (RUS, MW Arden) in action during race 1 at Spa on Saturday August 24 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service.)
Daniil Kvyat (RUS, MW Arden) ready for race 1 at Spa on Saturday August 24 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service.)
Daniil Kvyat (RUS, MW Arden) celebrates his victory on the podium after race 1 at Spa on Saturday August 24 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP3 Media Service.)
Daniil Kvyat (RUS, MW Arden) celebrates his victory on the podium with Conor Daly (USA, ART Grand Prix) and Facu Regalia (ARG, ART Grand Prix) after race 1 at Spa on Saturday August 24 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP3 Media Service.)
Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) and James Calado (GBR, ART Grand Prix) leads the field into turn on the opening lap of the Spa feature race on Saturday August 24 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Start of the Spa feature race on Saturday August 24 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Sam Bird (GBR, Russian Time) and James Calado (GBR , ART Grand Prix) leads the field into turn on the opening lap of the Spa feature race on Saturday August 24 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)

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