The Straits Times
Published on Sep 01, 2012

Formula One: Alonso fastest in final practice for Belgian Grand Prix


SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (REUTERS) - Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso set the pace in final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday as the sun shone over the Ardennes forests after the previous day's washout.

With the sound of Formula One engines echoing around the majestic circuit, Alonso set a best time of one minute 48.542secs to undermine his assertion that the Ferrari was the slowest car of the top teams.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari's ice-cool 2007 world champion, was second fastest for Lotus at a favourite fast and flowing circuit that has rewarded the Finn with four wins over his career.

Lotus had planned to test a new system, which they have named simply 'The Device', to boost their straight-line speed but decided not to after heavy rain on Friday left them with just an hour of track time to prepare for qualifying.