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Friday, August 31, 2012

Dacia Duster vs Ginetta G40R around our very wet, very low-grip circuit

Published on Aug 31, 2012 by
What's fastest around our very wet, very low-grip circuit: The 105bhp, 1.6-litre petrol, four-wheel drive Dacia Duster, or the 200bhp, 2.0-litre petrol, rear-wheel drive Ginetta G40R?

Belgian Grand Prix - Caterham F1 Team Information FP1 & FP2 - 31 August 2012 Spa-Francorchamps 4:09 PM (2 hours ago) to

Caterham F1
_X5J7345          _X5J6207          FQ0C1128
Belgian Grand Prix 2012 - FP1 and FP2

Caterham F1 Team Partner information

In 2011, EADS generated revenues of €49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000


FP1: wet, air temp 12°, track temp 13°
FP2: wet, air temp 11°, track temp 11°

Fastest laps / positions:

FP1: PET 2.16.788, 14th / KOV 2.18.199, 18th
FP2: KOV laptime n/a, classified 13th  / PET laptime and classification n/a

Total laps:

FP1: PET 16 / KOV 10
FP2: KOV 1 / PET 0

Runplan – FP1


Heikki's CT01 sporting its new Airbus branding
2012 Belgian Grand Prix - Friday
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
31st August 2012.
World Copyright:Charles Coates/LAT Photographic
ref: Digital Image _X5J6207

Heikki Kovalainen
1005 – 1008: Installation, 1 lap (wet tyres)
1008 – 1103: System checks
1103 – 1114: Run 2, 4 laps (wet tyres)
1114 – 1123: Changes: front wing flap angle
1123 – 1132: Run 3, 5 laps (wet tyres)

Vitaly Petrov

1001 – 1005: Installation, 1 lap (wet tyres)
1005 – 1050: System checks
1050 – 1109: Run 2, 8 laps (wet tyres)
1109 – 1119: Changes: front wing flap angle
1119 – 1132: Run 3, 7 laps (wet tyres)

Runplan - FP2

Heikki Kovalainen
1453 – 1456: Installation, 1 lap (wet tyres)

Vitaly Petrov


Team Quotes

Heikki in a wet FP1
2012 Belgian Grand Prix - Friday
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
31st August 2012.
World Copyright:Charles Coates/LAT Photographic
ref: Digital Image _X5J7345
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3:  “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.”

Vitaly Petrov, Spa 2012
2012 Belgian Grand Prix - Friday
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
31st August 2012.
World Copyright:Charles Coates/LAT Photographic
ref: Digital Image _X5J7677

Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2 : “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!”

Vitaly talks to his engineer Gianluca and #1 mechanic Charlie
2012 Belgian Grand Prix - Friday
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
31st August 2012.
World Copyright:Charles Coates/LAT Photographic
ref: Digital Image _X5J7791
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader : “Despite the weather today Spa-Francorchamps is my favourite circuit of the year and it’s a track that’s particularly tough on engines. It is the longest lap of any track we race on and when it’s dry almost 70% of the lap is spent at full throttle with the engines working predominantly in the upper ends of the rev limit, around 16,000rpm on average around the entire lap. As power sensitivity is very important in Spa, as much as it is in Monza, we have put new engines in both cars for this weekend.

“In addition to Spa being a circuit that rewards outright power, we also have a few other challenges to deal with. The hairpins at La Source and Stavelot are heavy braking zones so we are looking closely at perfecting the driveability of the engines on the entry and exit to these two corners. This is particularly important as the slower corners actually dictate the upper speeds reached and this leads us neatly on to one of the other main areas we’ve been looking at today - how to make sure we can maximise outright pace.

“Top speed is partly determined by the ratios we use in seventh gear and with Spa’s two long straights in mind selecting the right ratios for seventh gear is crucial. It looks like it will be dry tomorrow so the engines will be at full throttle for around 25secs on the first of the two straights, from the exit of La Source to Les Combes, and we need to make sure they are not on the limit too early or too late so the drivers can attack where possible, or defend.

“The same is true for the second main straight from Blanchimont through to the Bus Stop chicane, where the engine will hit maximum speed, over 330kph with DRS open. This is an interesting challenge as we also have to take into account the effect wind can have on top speed, but with today’s weather we have obviously been held back so if it’s dry tomorrow we will have a lot of work to do in FP3. That’s the same for everyone as the weather affects us all and it should mean we have not lost any time compared to the cars around us.”

Pitstop practice in Spa
2012 Belgian Grand Prix - Thursday
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
30th August 2012.
World Copyright:Charles Coates/LAT Photographic
ref: Digital Image _X5J5503
Mark Smith, Technical Director : “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.”



Published on Aug 31, 2012 by
Caterham F1 Team Performance Engineer Tim Wright gives his guide to the classic Spa-Francorchamps circuit and explains how the weather can affect the engineering approach and car set-up


Belgian Grand Prix - Sauber Ferrari F1 Team Information FP1 & FP2 - 31 August 2012 Spa-Francorchamps

Friday, 31. August 2012
Belgian GP – Practice
Photo ID: SAM31082012008456
31. August 2012

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber C31-Ferrari

Heavy rain all day in the Ardennes meant there was very little running on the Spa-Francorchamps track. In the first free practice the Sauber F1 Team was able to gather information on how the Sauber C31-Ferrari would perform in the wet with Kamui Kobayashi fastest and Sergio Perez sixth. In the afternoon all the teams opted to spend most of the time in their garages. During the two sessions ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix the team covered a total of 44 laps.

Weather: rain all day, temperatures, 11-12°C air, 11-14°C track

 Photo ID: SAM31082012008461
31. August 2012

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber C31-Ferrari 

Kamui Kobayashi:
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 1st / 2:11.389 min (20 laps) / 2nd Practice: (4 laps)
“I feel very sorry for the spectators here in the grandstands. We did some running in the first session, but in the afternoon we basically stayed in the garage. There wasn’t anything to learn out there and it is obviously pretty easy to damage the car in these conditions. I can’t say much except: Welcome to Spa – and welcome back to reality. I didn’t see a drop of rain for the five weeks I have just spent in Tokyo and Hawaii.”

Sergio Pérez:
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 6th / 2:13.861 min (16 laps) / 2nd Practice: (4 laps)
“Unfortunately for all of us the conditions today didn’t allow for any proper driving to kick off the second part of the season. It is such a shame for the brave spectators. I believe the fans in Spa really love Formula One and today we left them disappointed. I hope we can make up for this tomorrow and on Sunday and put on a good show.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“Other than to praise the accuracy of the weather service, which was so precise, there is not much to say about today. We prioritised a bit more running in the morning as the conditions were looking worse for the afternoon. I can’t even say we were able to learn anything for the race, as the forecast for the next couple of days is for dry conditions. We just got our basic homework done, with start practice and systems checks.”
Freitag, 31. August 2012
GP Belgien – Training

Photo ID: SAM31082012008465
31. August 2012

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber C31-Ferrari 

 Heftiger Regen in den Ardennen reduzierte die Fahraktivitäten der Formel 1 auf dem Kurs von Spa-Francorchamps am Freitag auf ein Minimum. Im ersten freien Training sammelte das Sauber F1 Team Informationen über das Fahrverhalten des Sauber C31-Ferrari auf nasser Strecke. Kamui Kobayashi war Schnellster, Sergio Pérez Sechster. Am Nachmittag blieben die Autos für die meiste Zeit des Trainings in ihren Garagen. Insgesamt fuhren Kobayashi und Pérez in den beiden ersten freien Trainings zum Grossen Preis von Belgien 44 Runden.

Wetter: Regen, 11-12°C Luft, 11-14°C Strecke

  Photo ID: SAM31082012008469
31. August 2012
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber C31-Ferrari 


Kamui Kobayashi:
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056)
1. Training: 1. / 2:11.389 min (20 Runden) / 2. Training: (4 Runden)
„Mir tun die Zuschauer auf den Tribünen wirklich leid. Im ersten Training sind wir ja wenigstens einige Runden gefahren, aber am Nachmittag sind wir bis fast zum Schluss in der Box geblieben. Bei diesen Streckenbedingungen konnten wir einfach nichts lernen, und natürlich will man nicht riskieren, das Auto zu beschädigen. Insofern gibt es nicht viel zu sagen, ausser vielleicht: Willkommen in Spa – und willkommen zurück in der Realität. In den zurückliegenden fünf Wochen habe ich keinen einzigen Regentropfen gesehen, weder in Tokio noch auf Hawaii.“

Sergio Pérez:

Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
1. Training: 6. / 2:13.861 min (16 Runden) / 2. Training: (4 Runden)
„Leider haben die Wetterbedingungen heute einen richtigen Auftakt zum zweiten Teil der Saison verhindert. Das ist ein Jammer für die Fans, die hier im Regen ausharren. Ich glaube, das Publikum in Spa liebt die Formel 1 wirklich, und wir haben diese Leute heute enttäuscht. Ich hoffe, wir können das am Samstag und am Sonntag mit einer umso besseren Show wieder gutmachen.“

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Leitender Ingenieur an der Rennstrecke:

„Ausser, dass man den Wetterdienst für seine präzise Vorhersage loben kann, gibt es zum heutigen Trainingstag nicht viel zu sagen. Wir haben es vorgezogen, am Vormittag einige Runden zu fahren, weil die Bedingungen für den Nachmittag noch schlechter angesagt waren. Das war ja auch richtig. Ich kann aber nicht behaupten, dass wir am Morgen etwas fürs Rennen gelernt haben, denn an den kommenden Tagen soll es hier trocken sein. Wir haben wirklich nur Basisarbeit erledigt, Startübungen und System-Überprüfungen.“

Belgian Grand Prix - Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team Information FP1 & FP2 - 31 August 2012 Spa-Francorchamps

Daniel Ricciardo (STR7-04)
First Practice Session
Best lap 2:12.004, pos. 3rd, 12 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 2:49.750, pos. 2nd, 3 laps
“The morning session went pretty well and right from the start, we had a good feel for the car in the wet. In fact, it’s been like that before when we have had wet race weekends and the car gives us confidence in these conditions immediately. We were able to do some good lap times and even with all the rain, it was nice to be out on this great track.”

Jean-Eric Vergne (STR7-03)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 2:12.824, pos. 4th, 15 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 2:58.232, pos. 8th, 3 laps
“This morning, as is usually the case in the rain, the car performed very well on the Extreme tyres. There were no problems and our lap times for me and Daniel were respectable. However, this afternoon, the rain was really too heavy to do anything worthwhile, so we only went out right at the end to do a practice start off the grid.”
Laurent Mekies (Chief Engineer): “A wet day from start to finish and we only really ran the cars in the morning on the extreme wet tyres, because the conditions in the afternoon were too bad. It was the same situation for everyone and it means that tomorrow morning’s free practice session will be very busy, as we try and cram in all the work required in preparation for qualifying and the race. Understanding the behaviour of the Medium and Hard tyres will as usual be a key factor, while we will also want to evaluate the few updates we brought here to Spa. The forecast is for the rest of the weekend to be dry, so now we can put today behind us and concentrate on preparing as well as possible for the race.”

Belgian Grand Prix - HRT F1 Team Information FP1 & FP2 - 31 August 2012 Spa-Francorchamps 4:35 PM (48 minutes ago) to


Free practice session at the Belgian Grand Prix

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Friday, 31st of August 2012
Weather: Rainy – Air 12ºC, Track 14ºC

Pedro de la Rosa   F112-02 #22  19th (12 laps)  2:19.546
Dani Clos                 F112-03 #23  20th (12 laps)  2:19.689

Pedro de la Rosa     F112-02 #22  (0 laps) -
Narain Karthikeyan   F112-03 #23  (0 laps) -

After four weeks without competing, the Formula 1 World Championship returned to action today with the first free practice sessions at the Belgian Grand Prix. However it wasn’t the car nor the drivers but the rain that played the star role. In the morning session, with Dani Clos and Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel, the F112’s covered a dozen laps each under the heavy rain which continued through into the second session. Given the adverse conditions and that the forecast doesn’t predict rain for the rest of the weekend, De la Rosa and Karthikeyan decided not to risk it in the afternoon and neither one left the garage.

We will have to wait and see but, with a qualifying session and race predicted in dry conditions, tomorrow’s 60 minute free practice will be vital for everyone at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps.

Pedro de la Rosa: "I was surprised by the large amount of rain that poured down during both sessions. We anticipated the morning session to be less wet and that’s why we made the most of it to complete our only run. We only did a few laps mainly to confirm that the car and the systems worked well, so in the afternoon, with the track in even worse conditions, we decided not to go out as it didn’t contribute anything to us. It’s been almost a month since we drove the car and the positive side was that I was able to get rid of the rust and get a feel for the car. For tomorrow we have an extra set of dry tyres and as today we were unable to test with a full deposit, that will be a priority”.

Narain Karthikeyan: "Today I was unable to do any laps as the conditions were terrible, but you can’t fight against these things so the best thing is to focus on tomorrow. No rain is anticipated so we will work on making up for lost time from the very start and to get some feel for the car. It will be an intense session but I’m really looking forward to going out on track”.

Dani Clos: "Once again I got the opportunity to get into the F112 and it was fantastic. However the session wasn’t easy because of the conditions we faced. The track was very wet and the objective was to make sure that there were no problems with the car’s systems and assess the balance. In that sense everything went well and I felt very comfortable so I’m very happy with the job we did”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: "Coming from summer today was a bit of a shock. We expected rain but perhaps not like today, but Spa is quite unique. We weren’t able to take much away from the day, but at least we were able to check that everything worked well. Dani had another chance to run and that’s always positive. In the afternoon we considered that it wasn’t worth going out, especially as the forecast for tomorrow and Sunday is dry. Tomorrow we can’t lose any time but we’re all in the same situation”.


Belgian Grand Prix 31 August 2012 - Free practice 2 results 1 Pic 2 Ricciardo 3 Alonso 4 di Resta @ #Spa

14.00 to 15.30
Free practice 2
Track Conditions Wet / 11C
Weather Wind and rain

#     Driver                      Team         Laps    
1     Pic     FRA     Marussia     2'49.354   
2     Ricciardo     AUS     Toro Rosso     2'49.750   
3     Alonso     ESP     Ferrari     2'50.497   
4     di Resta     GBR     Force India     2'51.333   
5     Maldonado     VEN     Williams     2'51.660   
6     Glock     GER     Marussia     2'52.076   
7     Kobayashi     JPN     Sauber     2'53.232   
8     Vergne     FRA     Toro Rosso     2'58.232   
9     Hülkenberg     GER     Force India     2'59.125   
10     Perez     MEX     Sauber     3'12.901   
11     Rosberg     GER     Mercedes     -   
12     Schumacher     GER     Mercedes     -   
13     Kovalainen     FIN     Caterham     -   
14     Hamilton     GBR     McLaren     -   
15     Vettel     GER     Red Bull     -   
16     Button     GBR     McLaren     -   
17     Massa     BRA     Ferrari     -   
18     Senna     BRA     Williams     -   
19     Webber     AUS     Red Bull     -   
20     Räikkönen     FIN     Lotus     -   
21     Grosjean     FRA     Lotus     -   
22     Petrov     RUS     Caterham     -   
23     de la Rosa     ESP     HRT     -   
24     Karthikeyan     IND     HRT     -

What's best? The venerable Mercedes AMG 6.2-litre V8, or the new 5.5-litre biturbo V8?

Published on Aug 31, 2012 by
What's best? The venerable Mercedes AMG 6.2-litre V8, or the new 5.5-litre biturbo V8? World record drifter and Autocar special correspondent, Mauro Calo, tests the Mercedes C63 AMG and SL63 AMG back-to-back on track to find out.

Belgian Grand Prix - this morning´s Tweets #Spa

Tweets Top / All / People you follow

Semangaaaat rio (´▽`ʃƪ) ♡ RT : Rio Haryanto moves up to P2 with his best lap time 2:29.395
Keep pushing.. RT : Rio Haryanto moves up to P2 with his best lap time 2:29.395
Michael Schumacher's special helmet for his 300th GP (via ). He had a gold one last year
So, did i pack? Waterproof jacket (with hood) & pants = yes Umbrella = yes Cap = yes Am i still soaked to the core? = YES!
Spa Opportunities 31 Aug 2012 issue 145 is now available to view online
Rio Haryanto moves up to P2 with his best lap time 2:29.395
DRS detection is before Eau Rouge, with activation coming along the Kemmel Straight as it did last year:
I got alot of eyes on me this weekend and my expectations have never been higher. Time for a good nights rest :)
And before full fledged action gets underway at ,here's my mid-season report . I'll be happy if u read/comment.
Beaucoup de hollandais autour du circuit (..) on sait comment ils ont eu leurs tickets (..) [Mauvais esprit, je sais... ]
The brainchild got a new Beauty handle. Swing by and bring your A-game.
Everyone is sheltering from the rain, for the moment, except for Schumacher and Grosjean
Tech-update-alert: McLaren has new boards, to guide air around the sidepod. Very interesting. Exclusive pic
no chance of a dry run. Still very wet and light rain falling. Just data collection and wet baseline running for us.
Off to Belgium tomorrow for a bit of chips and mayo action, also may catch some noisy cars driving at 195MPH
If your mates are casual fans make sure to remind them its weekend
Y vuelve a llover... 12*C ambiente y 14*C pista | And starts to rain again... 12*C air and 14*C track.
Schumi & Alo with low downforce rear wings in FP1. Ros & Mas with regular ones. Another pic of new Ferrari fw
Rainfall radar (zoomable) is available at (Bear in mind accuracy over Ardennes can be affected by topography)
Friday : Cloudy with showers and circuit expected to remain damp/wet through much of practice. Moderate N'ly breeze. Max temp 13c.
Indeed! Although it's meant to brighten up for the weekend... never can tell here in !