Alonso Leads Opening Practice Session In Belgium

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was the man to beat at this morning’s Free Practice One session at the Belgian Grand Prix. The Spaniard took advantage of a short dry stint to put in a lap of 1.55.198 and take the top spot before rain once more fell on the circuit. The Force Indias were surprisingly strong and Paul di Resta lined up second, right ahead of Adrian Sutil in third. McLaren’s Sergio Perez led the session early on but eventually settled for fourth while Nico Rosberg pipped country-man Sebastian Vettel for fifth. Sauber lined up seventh and eighth – Esteban Gutierrez leading Nico Hulkenberg – while Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas rounded up the top ten.

Felipe Massa finished the session in eleventh, almost 1.5 down on his team-mate’s best time. Pastor Maldonado and Jean-Eric Vergne in twelfth and thirteenth were split by the tiniest of amounts while Button lined up fourteenth ahead of former team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Heikki Kovalainen was in the cockpit in place of Charles Pic for FP1 and finished six-hundreths of a second ahead of Giedo van der Garde in the other Caterham. The Marussias of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi were split by the Red Bull of Mark Webber, who was the first man on track on dry tyres. At the very back was both Lotuses – Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Romain Grosjean while the former suffered a problem with his front right tyre.

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