The first practice session in almost a month or two was strictly restricted by the heavy downpour on the Ardennes forest – the circuit seemed undriveable with the allocated tyre choices. The start to the second half of the season had not gone in the way teams would have thought it should be. Despite preparing for a wet weather outing, new aerodynamic tweaks and parts were bound to be tested as the ‘double-header’ has proven to be crucial to keep the momentum running throughout the busy months to come.
The FP1 got underway amidst bucketed by rain with not much eye-catching action in all of the 90 minutes. Only Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber did maximum of 20 laps to cut six second deficit over his previously set fastest lap. As a matter of fact, the only driver to post a flying lap was Kobayashi while others opted to stay away with installation laps in the opening half of the session. Just into the final 40 minutes, Ricciardo and Vergne duo of Toro Rosso, followed up by the Williams drivers Maldonado and Bottas trundled around the track.
Michael Schumacher had a hairy moment in his 300th race on the legendary Eau Rogue. With 28 minutes remaining, Michael was fined €2500 for not using the pit entry correctly, he was lucky in some respects to not to get heavily penalised as no other driver was in the vicinity that time. Along with some trips to the escape roads, no serious impact off the track was seen.
Of the front runners, Mark Webber ran around 13 laps to finish ahead of Perez and Rosberg. Vettel seemed less bothered too as he ended the session behind Bottas and Schumacher rounding out the top ten. Lotus, Mclaren and Ferrari didn’t find the session productive as their drivers only did laps in single digit. Felipe Massa parked his car due to smoke rushing out from his engine in the session.
Top 5: Kobayashi, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Vergne and Webber