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Formula 1 News - September, 2008
Team-by-team summary: Friday, Belgium

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Felipe Massa's strong form continues at Spa-Francorchamps, when on Friday he set the fastest lap of the day in the morning before trailing only the light-fuelled Fernando Alonso in the rain-affected second session. Also true to his current form, Kimi Raikkonen proved the slower Ferrari runner, and in the slippery afternoon he crashed at turn 9 and damaged his rear wing. Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella slid on water spilled out of the tyre barriers as a result and also crashed, which brought out the red flags.



Solid running for the silver-clad duo, but - as per 2007 at this circuit - the Mercedes powered cars appear slightly outclassed by Ferrari. "Today's times don't mean a lot, but I think we should be in good shape," said team official Norbert Haug.



A good day for Fernando Alonso; the quickest car besides Ferraris and McLarens in the morning, and - albeit with a lighter fuel load - the fastest runner of all in the afternoon damp. Nelson Piquet's Friday was less impressive; nearly a second slower than his teammate in the dry, and nearly last after sliding on a wet white line and damaging his rear wing in the afternoon. "I don't feel perfectly comfortable in the car," the Brazilian said.



Mark Webber was sixth quickest in the morning, but he buried his RB4 in the barriers in the afternoon and watched most of the session from behind the marshals' fence. The highlight of David Coulthard's day was P12 in the afternoon.



The Toro Rossos are still turning heads, after they slotted into the top eight in the dry morning. Sebastian Vettel continued to shine in the afternoon with P7.



Jarno Trulli's weekend did not start well with a morning electrical problem limiting his track time, but the TF108 again looks like a car good enough for the top ten.



No BMW runner raced above the top ten practice times throughout Friday's three hours of running in cold Belgium. Robert Kubica then stalled his engine on the grid doing a practice start at the end of the day and helped the marshals recover his car to the pits. Nick Heidfeld is able to look on the bright side, however, because he did not lag his teammate's pace.



Nico Rosberg rose as high as P6 in the damp afternoon with a new front wing design, but he was just thirteenth quickest in the morning dry. Kazuki Nakajima's best effort was P15 in the wet.



Embarrassingly for the hugely-funded Honda team, both Force India runners were ahead of the abysmal RA108s throughout Friday at Spa, and Adrian Sutil was at his characteristic best in the wet afternoon with the eighth quickest time overall. Giancarlo Fisichella slid on Raikkonen's tyre-barrier water at turn 9, bouncing off the arm-co and triggering the red flag delay.



The Japanese team's car propelled Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello to clearly the slowest times in the dry morning. "At the moment, it looks like this track and dry conditions will not favour us," said the latter driver, after trailing his British teammate for an improvement to P18 in the wetter second session.

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