The typical Ardennian fog delayed the start of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend in Spa- Francorchamps today. Panasonic Toyota Racing had to make the most of a thirty-minute shorter free practice session, though both Mika Salo and Allan McNish completed valuable work on car set-up for this highly-challenging track, posting the 10th and 11th fastest times respectively.
Mika Salo - Car No. 24
Position: 10th, 1m49.260s, 26 laps completed
"We completed our programme and the car handles well in the high-speed corners. They have done a good job on the track surface and the circuit is not as bumpy as it used to be. It definitely suits our car better, and we must now focus on improving the car's balance in low-speed corners. Today's result is encouraging but it is only Friday and we have to stay focused to perform as this for the remainder of the weekend."
Allan McNish - Car No. 25
Position: 11th, 1m49.560s, 28 laps completed
"Today was obviously a bit compromised for everybody due to the lack of running time but we managed to go through the main parts of our programme. We completed mechanical set-up work and tyre comparison, and we had two productive sessions overall. The test we had here last year made us think that the car could be quite strong here and, thankfully, it felt that way today."
Ange Pasquali - Team Manager
"As usual the Spa-Francorchamps track has brought its usual surprises, with fog disrupting this morning's session. We are quite happy with the work we have achieved so far and the practice results let us think that we are working in the right direction. We will have confirmation tomorrow morning of the data we gathered today and have to finalise our tyre choice."
Weather: Overcast, heavy fog in the morning, slowly brightening during the day.
Temperatures: Air - Min 16°C, Max 28°C
Track - Min 19°C, Max 32°C
Average humidity - 71%
T-car : TF102/06 set up for Allan McNish.