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Final practice - Webber fastest at sodden Spa 27 Aug 2011

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 27 August 2011 Senna slides in the wet and cuts the corner Rosberg suffers a suspected puncture Di Resta aquaplanes off track mid session

For a while it seemed that nobody would venture out to set a lap time at Spa this morning, as Lewis Hamilton described conditions as “massively wet,” and Jenson Button said they were “worse than Canada.” But eventually things improved enough to make the effort worthwhile, with the caveat that everyone wanted to preserve rubber.

In the end it was Red Bull’s Mark Webber at the top of the times again with 2m 08.988s, from late improver Lewis Hamilton, 0.058s behind on 2m 09.046s for McLaren. Then came Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari who spent most of his track time battling intensely with stable mate Sebastien Buemi. The Spaniard lapped in 2m 09.931s, the Swiss 2m 10.580s. In between them, Button was fourth on 2m 10.257s for McLaren, ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel on 2m 10.402s. Nico Rosberg was seventh for Mercedes on 2m 10.837s, being delayed slightly at one point by a deflating front-right tyre.

Adrian Sutil was one of the stars of the session, consistently running close to the front and ending up eighth for Force India on 2m 11.437s, while Bruno Senna continued to impress at Renault with 2m 11.664s for ninth as Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher completed the top 10 on 2m 11.667s. Paul di Resta was the final runner below 2m 12s, with 2m 11.874s after a couple of non-damaging offs in the second Force India.

Heikki Kovalainen gave Lotus a major boost with 12th fastest time of 2m 13.036s, followed by Williams’ Pastor Maldonado (2m 13.074s), Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi (2m 13.182s), Renault’s Vitaly Petrov (2m 13.290s) and Williams’ Rubens Barrichello (2m 13.778s).

Sauber’s Sergio Perez headed the next batch on 2m 14.334s for 17th, bracketed with Jarno Trulli for Lotus on 2m 14.682s.

Jerome D’Ambrosio headed Virgin team mate Timo Glock with 2m 17.159s to 2m 18.039s, then came the HRTs with Daniel Ricciardo ahead of Tonio Liuzzi, 2m 19.001s to 2m 19.597s.

At the back, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa did seven laps for a 2m 22.454s best, and team mate Fernando Alonso did not record a time.

More rain is forecast for qualifying.

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