Formula 1 - Afternoon Spa session washed out

Rain again got in the way of the top Formula One teams' championship fight as Friday afternoon practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa was practically a washout.

Formula 1 - Afternoon Spa session washed out

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Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso arrives in the pits during the second practice session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit (AFP)

Not a single competitive lap was set, with the official timesheet showing efforts in the 2:50s - and Marussia's Charles Pic top of the pile.

That compared with the fastest lap of two minutes 11.389 in the morning, which itself was set on a soaked track amid heavy rain by Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi.

The rain only intensified between sessions, with the result that no one risked going out for the first 45 minutes.

From then on there was a slow trickle of drivers testing the water, but they were too wary to push in any way. Hence there were no accidents, nor, thankfully, any signs of one.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were among the 18 drivers brave enough to venture out, but only briefly. Hamilton was forced to take the escape road at Les Combes, as had many in the first session, while Heikki Kovalainen suffered a low-speed spin at Les Combes.

Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen opted to remain in the garage throughout the 90-minute session.

Nico Hulkenberg, with five under his belt, completed the most laps of any driver.

Standings leader Fernando Alonso gained a little experience of the wet tarmac at the Ardennes circuit - the longest on the F1 calendar - in the final moments, but it is difficult to see what he or anyone else could have learned in such treacherous conditions.

The weather forecast is more promising for the remainder of the weekend, but with the track notorious for its changeable conditions, anything is possible.

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