P2: Rain extends F1's summer break
Pic makes history for Marussia as the rain wins at Spa
Last Updated: August 31, 2012 3:12pm
It never rained but it poured. Practice Two for the Belgian GP proved to be an effective wash-out as a torrential deluge enveloped Spa and extended F1's summer holidays by another rain-soaked day.
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Such was the level of inactivity that the only timed laps of the saturated session were set by cars carrying on to make practice starts long after the chequered flag had fallen. It was a bizarre anomaly that resulted in French youngster Charles Pic making history by topping a session on behalf of Marussia for the first time in the team's nascent history, but with Pic's table-topping lap registered as taking two minutes and forty-nine seconds to complete only the rain could be justified in claiming the spoils.
For spoil it certainly did. Indeed, the peak of the excitement centred around the sight of a McLaren pulling away in second gear along with the cheers that greeted Nico Rosberg becoming the first driver to venture out on track after almost an hour of the session had elapsed.
With the rain which has been an-all too familiar presence during this season's Friday sessions scarcely easing from lunchtime onwards, the legendary Spa circuit resembled a lake from start to finish, leaving the hardy souls scattered around the five miles of soaked tarmac deprived of entertainment and the teams twiddling their inactive thumbs.
What a letdown after the enthusiasm generated by the long-awaited end of F1's summer holidays - with even the interest of McLaren's second-gear start swiftly puncture by the team explaining they were simply bedding in a new clutch. It was that sort of day.
"The data collection has really been minimal. I'd be surprised if they've learnt anything at all," Anthony Davidson bluntly but accurately summarised during Sky Sports F1's coverage. There was little else to add.
Fortunately, better weather is forecast for the rest of the weekend - though that optimistic prediction was one salient reason why none of the teams felt the need to embark on any wet-weather testing.
But, from a reporter's point of view, a break in Friday's weather would be a welcome reprieve. After all, there are only so many ways to say 'damp squib'.