Saturday, September 15, 2007

Qualifying Report: An all-red front row at Spa

Saturday 15th September 2007

Ferrari locked out the front row of the grid for only the second time this season at Spa in Saturday's qualifying. Kimi Raikkonen won the closely fought battle between himself, his team-mate Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. At the end of Q3 the trio were separated by less than a tenth of a second, offering the promise of a fantastic race on Sunday afternoon. Lewis Hamilton, who is believed to be heavily fueled, qualifying fourth ahead of Robert Kubica. Kubica, however, will drop down the order as his engine was changed prior to qualifying.

01 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:45.994
02 F. Massa Ferrari 1:46.011
03 F. Alonso McLaren 1:46.091
04 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:46.406
05 R. Kubica BMW 1:47.334
06 N. Rosberg Williams 1:47.334
07 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:47.409
08 M. Webber Red Bull 1:47.524
09 J. Trulli Toyota 1:47.798
10 H. Kovalainen Renault 1:48.505
11 G. Fisichella Renault 1:46.603
12 R. Schumacher Toyota 1:46.618
13 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:46.800
14 J. Button Honda 1:46.955
15 V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:47.115
16 A. Wurz Williams 1:47.394
17 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:47.581
18 R. Barrichello Honda 1:47.954
19 T. Sato Super Aguri 1:47.980
20 A. Sutil Spyker F1 1:48.044
21 A. Davidson Super Aguri 1:48.199
22 S. Yamamoto Spyker F1 1:49.577

Prac Three: Ferrari back at the front
Saturday 15th September 2007

Having lost out to McLaren on Friday afternoon, Ferrari returned to the front of the pack in the final practice ahead of Saturday's Belgian qualifying. In chilly conditions and under overcast skies, Kimi Raikkonen was the man to beat. The Finn lapped the revised Spa-Francorchamps circuit in a time of 1:46.137, beating his team-mate Felipe Massa by a quarter of a second. Friday's fastest man, Fernando Alonso, was third quickest on Saturday morning. The McLaren driver, however, spent a good part of the session stuck in his garage while the team worked on his car.
His team-mate Lewis Hamilton was fourth quickest, finishing ahead of the Renault of Heikki Kovalainen, who was the only non-Ferrari or McLaren driver to get within a second of Raikkonen's P1 time. Jarno Trulli once again impressed for Toyota, setting the sixth best time, some 1.081s off the pace. Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld completed the top eight.

However, there were problems for Heidfeld's BMW team-mate, Robert Kubica. The Polish driver failed to complete a time after his engine failed on his second lap out.
If Kubica's car does require an engine change then it will lead to a 10-place grid penalty after this afternoon's qualifying. The morning's only accident belonged to Sakon Yamamoto, who lost control of his Spyker, breaking off the front wing as he slid into the tyre barriers.

01 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:46.137 16 laps
02 F. Massa Ferrari 1:46.388 16 laps
03 F. Alonso McLaren 1:46.507 9 laps
04 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:46.782 13 laps
05 H. Kovalainen Renault 1:47.065 13 laps
06 J. Trulli Toyota 1:47.218 10 laps
07 N. Rosberg Williams 1:47.251 16 laps
08 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:47.359 15 laps
09 R. Schumacher Toyota 1:47.454 18 laps
10 M. Webber Red Bull 1:47.527 15 laps
11 G. Fisichella Renault 1:47.564 15 laps
12 J. Button Honda 1:47.767 17 laps
13 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:47.806 9 laps
14 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:47.838 19 laps
15 A. Wurz Williams 1:47.902 16 laps
16 T. Sato Super Aguri 1:48.129 16 laps
17 V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:48.163 20 laps
18 A. Sutil Spyker F1 1:48.348 18 laps
19 R. Barrichello Honda 1:48.528 16 laps
20 A. Davidson Super Aguri 1:48.955 16 laps
21 S. Yamamoto Spyker F1 1:49.179 14 laps
22 R. Kubica BMW no time 2 laps

Prac Two: McLaren duo set the pace
Friday 14th September 2007

McLaren grabbed a small victory over Ferrari on Friday at Spa, when Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton beat the Ferrari drivers on the track. Alonso set the pace in Practice Two for the Belgian Grand Prix, posting a 1:46.654 to edge out his team-mate by 0.111 seconds. The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were next in line, however, Massa, the better of two, was over a quarter of a second off the pace, while Raikkonen finished half a second short of Alonso's P1 time. It was a good afternoon session for the Toyotas with Jarno Trulli the only driver aside from the Ferraris to get within a second of McLarens. The Italian finished the day 0.837s off the pace while his team-mate Ralf Schumacher was behind him on the timesheets. Giancarlo Fisichella and Mark Webber completed the top eight.

However, Webber's team-mate David Coulthard suffered problems when his Red Bull broke down at the Fagnes chicane. However, theScot was able to get back on track later in the session after repairs were made. One driver, though, who took an early shower was Adrian Sutil. The Spyker driver crashed exit of the Les Combes corner, damaging his car.

01 F. Alonso McLaren 1:46.654 29 laps
02 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:46.765 29 laps
03 F. Massa Ferrari 1:46.953 27 laps
04 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:47.166 26 laps
05 J. Trulli Toyota 1:47.491 33 laps
06 R. Schumacher Toyota 1:47.946 34 laps
07 G. Fisichella Renault 1:48.086 30 laps
08 M. Webber Red Bull 1:48.271 29 laps
09 R. Kubica BMW 1:48.279 37 laps
10 H. Kovalainen Renault 1:48.567 38 laps
11 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:48.606 36 laps
12 N. Rosberg Williams 1:48.840 32 laps
13 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:48.883 17 laps
14 J. Button Honda 1:48.919 29 laps
15 R. Barrichello Honda 1:49.364 31 laps
16 A. Wurz Williams 1:49.393 28 laps
17 S. Yamamoto Spyker F1 1:49.697 32 laps
18 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:49.720 34 laps
19 T. Sato Super Aguri 1:50.168 23 laps
20 A. Sutil Spyker F1 1:50.399 24 laps
21 A. Davidson Super Aguri 1:50.542 24 laps
22 V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:50.865 9 laps

Prac One: Kimi tops the charts for Ferrari
Friday 14th September 2007

After all the goings on off the track yesterday, it was back to business at Spa on Friday where Kimi Raikkonen set the pace ahead of the McLaren drivers. The Belgian Grand Prix is making its return to the F1 calendar after being dropped last season due to poor facilities. However, after an upgrade to the facilities and the track, one of the best-loved circuits made its comeback on Friday morning.

Raikkonen was the fastest man in Practice One, clocking a 1:47.339 during his 15 laps, putting him over half a second up on McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso was far off his team-mate's pace, posting a 1:47.994. The BMW of Nick Heidfeld and the Williams of Nico Rosberg were once again mixing it up near the top of the field. They finished fourth and fifth fastest ahead of Robert Kubica and Alex Wurz. Jarno Trulli completed the top eight for Toyota, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen and Jenson Button. There were problems at the back of the pack for Tonio Liuzzi, Sakon Yamamoto and Felipe Massa.

While both Liuzzi and Yamamoto both managed to set times before stopping out on track, Massa went off at the Rivages corner after just two laps. The Brazilian went off the track at the exit of Les Combes, which resulted in him hitting the barriers nose-first at Rivages.

01 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:47.339 16 laps
02 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:47.881 19 laps
03 F. Alonso McLaren 1:47.994 17 laps
04 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:48.052 20 laps
05 N. Rosberg Williams 1:48.372 18 laps
06 R. Kubica BMW 1:48.605 20 laps
07 A. Wurz Williams 1:48.920 20 laps
08 J. Trulli Toyota 1:48.994 19 laps
09 H. Kovalainen Renault 1:49.138 22 laps
10 J. Button Honda 1:49.330 22 laps
11 G. Fisichella Renault 1:49.380 25 laps
12 R. Schumacher Toyota 1:49.548 21 laps
13 M. Webber Red Bull 1:49.894 23 laps
14 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:49.931 19 laps
15 R. Barrichello Honda 1:50.264 22 laps
16 S. Vettel Toro Rosso 1:50.482 27 laps
17 T. Sato Super Aguri 1:50.640 16 laps
18 A. Davidson Super Aguri 1:50.648 20 laps
19 A. Sutil Spyker F1 1:50.768 22 laps
20 V. Liuzzi Toro Rosso 1:51.628 12 laps
21 S. Yamamoto Spyker F1 1:52.379 21 laps
22 F. Massa Ferrari no time 2 laps