Heikki Kovalainen was disappointed to see the first day of Formula One action in five weeks almost completely washed out by heavy rain at Spa. The Finn only completed eleven laps all day, which included a spin in the afternoon, and all attention now shifts to FP3 where the teams will have just one hour to prepare for qualifying.
“It’s obviously good to be back to racing but a shame it had to start with weather like this. Spa’s notorious for its weather but I can’t remember seeing it rain this hard for a long time so after today there’s really not a lot to say after most of Friday was washed out. It looks like tomorrow should be dry so I think we’ll be able to get more laps done in FP3 but with the weather in Spa you can never tell.”
Caterham teammate Vitaly Petrov didn’t go out at all in the afternoon, choosing to stay warm in the garage, and said it was the safe and sensible option given the conditions.
“First it’s really good to get the season started again and it was great to come to Spa, catch up with the team and get back into the car. Even though the weather was clearly very bad in FP1 we managed to complete a good percentage of the runplan and the car felt pretty well balanced from the first few laps. In FP2 we were monitoring the weather throughout the session and as it progressed the rain fell harder than ever so we decided not to risk running. I made the strategy call to stay as warm as possible in the motorhome, wearing two jumpers and a couple of jackets and keeping as far away from the rain as possible!”
Technical Director Mark Smith didn’t feel the day was a complete wrote-off but agreed with Kovalainen that Saturday morning’s practice session has taken on added importance.
“While we have had quite a few wet session this season we have not had a Friday this bad for quite some time. When the conditions are as wet as they were for both FP1 and FP2 it is not worth sending the drivers out as we do not generate enough data to make it worth it, and the obvious risk is that they have an accident.”
“While it is disappointing for us and the fans that we have had such limited running today we were still able to complete part of the programme this morning and all the teams are in the same situation, so we have not lost ground. Despite that we will need to have a busy FP3 to prepare the cars for quali and Sunday’s race so I hope we can make up some time tomorrow.”