Alonso tops soggy Practice 1

Fernando Alonso topped the opening practice session in Spa, as rain pounded the Belgian circuit.

The Ferrari driver edged out his rivals half way through the session, as the rain began to worsen and virtually halted any competitive running.

With around ten minutes of the session remaining track conditions began to improve, with the dark clouds being replaced by blue skies and sunshine. However the track would remain treacherous, as Felipe Massa was caught out at Pouhon; Nico Hulkenberg at Les Combes and Kovalainen on one of the circuit’s run off areas.

Despite this, Alonso would improve on his time in the dying minutes of the session, breaking into the two minute barrier and moving further ahead of rivals.

Although Lewis Hamilton did not return to the circuit in the final minutes, the McLaren driver’s time was still good enough for second albeit nearly eight tenths off the Ferrari.

Robert Kubica was third, after a late flurry in his Renault R30. The Polish driver will be hoping that this effort will stand him in good stead for the rest of the weekend, with his car equipped with an interpretation of the F-duct for the first time this season.

Sebastian Vettel was fourth, ahead of Adrian Sutil who had shared the top of the standings with Toro Rosso’s Jaime Algueruari (16th) in the early part of the session.

Reigning world champion Jenson Button was sixth, edging Red Bull’s Mark Webber – with Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), Rubens Barrichello (Williams) and Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) rounding off the top ten.

Pos Driver      Car                  Time       Gap      Laps
1.  Alonso 	Ferrari 	     2:00.797            17
2.  Hamilton 	McLaren-Mercedes     2:01.567   + 0.770   7
3.  Kubica 	Renault 	     2:02.081   + 1.284  14
4.  Vettel 	RBR-Renault 	     2:02.450   + 1.653  11
5.  Sutil 	Force India-Mercedes 2:02.646   + 1.849  14
6.  Button 	McLaren-Mercedes     2:02.913   + 2.116   6
7.  Webber 	RBR-Renault          2:02.926   + 2.129  11
8.  Kobayashi 	BMW Sauber-Ferrari   2:03.401   + 2.604  17
9.  Barrichello Williams-Cosworth    2:03.424   + 2.627   7
10. Schumacher 	Mercedes GP          2:03.489   + 2.692   9
11. Massa 	Ferrari              2:03.601   + 2.804  17
12. Hulkenberg 	Williams-Cosworth    2:03.649   + 2.852  17
13. Rosberg 	Mercedes GP          2:03.654   + 2.857   6
14. de la Rosa 	BMW Sauber-Ferrari   2:03.851   + 3.054  17
15. Liuzzi 	Force India-Mercedes 2:04.145   + 3.348  12
16. Alguersuari STR-Ferrari          2:04.250   + 3.453  16
17. Petrov 	Renault              2:04.690   + 3.893  15
18. Buemi 	STR-Ferrari          2:05.680   + 4.883   6
19. Glock 	Virgin-Cosworth      2:05.697   + 4.900  18
20. di Grassi 	Virgin-Cosworth      2:06.695   + 5.898  14
21. Trulli 	Lotus-Cosworth       2:07.189   + 6.392  15
22. Senna 	HRT-Cosworth         2:07.737   + 6.940  13
23. Kovalainen 	Lotus-Cosworth       2:07.955   + 7.158  15
24. Yamamoto 	HRT-Cosworth         2:10.507   + 9.710  18