Daily Archives: August 31, 2012

Webber penalised for another gearbox change

Mark Webber will drop 5 places on the Belgian Grand Prix grid – the second time this has happened in three races.

The Red Bull RB8 requires a new gearbox, and since it has not completed the required 5 races, Webber has been dealt yet another penalty. This occurred two races ago as well, when he was forced to change his gearbox in Germany.

Belgian GP practice: Kobayashi heads soaked Friday running

Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest time on Friday in practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.

It was completely academic though, as persistent heavy rain resulted in both practice sessions becoming a complete washout. The rain got worse and worse as the afternoon progressed, and there was even less activity in FP2.

Practice 1

Kobayashi was the only driver to go out on track in the first 45 minutes, setting a 2:17.705. Steady rain deterred drivers from heading out until the final half hour.

When the track finally did allow for some running, it was barely an improvement. Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado both briefly took the top spot, but Kobayashi was soon back on top with a 2:11.389.

The Eau Rouge corner was particularly tricky to navigate, with Michael Schumacher, Pastor Maldonado and Paul di Resta all nearly losing control through the saturated turn.

In a surprise event in modern F1, Felipe Massa suffered an engine failure on his final lap, pulling over at the Bus Stop chicane with smoke pouring out of his Ferrari’s exhausts.

Pos. Driver              Team                  Time       Gap     Laps
 1.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari        2:11.389          20
 2.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Renault      2:11.941  +0.552  14
 3.  Daniel Ricciardo    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    2:12.004  +0.615  12
 4.  Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    2:12.824  +1.435  15
 5.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      2:13.191  +1.802  13
 6.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        2:13.861  +2.472  16
 7.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes AMG          2:14.210  +2.821  14
 8.  Valtteri Bottas     Williams-Renault      2:14.660  +3.271  16
 9.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      2:14.860  +3.471  12
10.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes AMG          2:15.402  +4.013  13
11.  Paul di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  2:15.812  +4.423  11
12.  Timo Glock          Marussia-Cosworth     2:16.409  +5.020  16
13.  Nico Hulkenberg     Force India-Mercedes  2:16.786  +5.397  10
14.  Vitaly Petrov       Caterham-Renault      2:16.788  +5.399  16
15.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      2:16.827  +5.438  5
16.  Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes      2:16.861  +5.472  8
17.  Charles Pic         Marussia-Cosworth     2:17.519  +6.130  14
18.  Heikki Kovalainen   Caterham-Renault      2:18.199  +6.810  10
19.  Pedro de la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth          2:19.546  +8.157  12
20.  Dani Clos           HRT-Cosworth          2:19.689  +8.300  12
21.  Romain Grosjean     Lotus-Renault         2:38.701  +27.312 9
22.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               2:40.749  +29.360 4
23.  Kimi Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault         2:46.580  +35.191 9
24.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               N/A        N/A     2

Practice 2

FP2 was even worse, with the rain becoming more heavy and persistent as the session went on.

It took 50 minutes for a car to even leave the pits, with Nico Rosberg leading several other drivers. However, not a single one set a fast lap, opting to pit every time.

This continued until the end of the session, where most drivers went out to do a practice start on the pit straight.

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