Michael Schumacher said being on track at Spa-Francorchamps 20 years on from his debut weekend in Formula 1 was still a special experience even though Friday practice for this year's Belgian Grand Prix was largely a washout.
Persistent rain meant there were only a few minutes of dry running in each of today's sessions, although Schumacher and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg made the most of one such period to go quickest in the morning.
The weekend marks 20 years since Schumacher's F1 debut with Jordan at the 1991 Spa event, when he qualified a shock seventh before retiring on the first lap with a clutch failure.
"It was a special feeling to be out on track today for the first practice sessions of this anniversary weekend in Spa," said Schumacher. "A lot of things have changed here in the past 20 years, but the weather certainly hasn't!
"Today was another typical Spa day, with mixed conditions and very little dry running. The conditions meant that we couldn't do much work on the setup, although we made the most of the limited time when the circuit was dry. Even so, it will be tricky to find the right setup compromise for Sunday, because the weather here is always so unpredictable."
Team boss Ross Brawn admitted that with the weather looking changeable for the whole weekend, Saturday was going to be a gamble as Mercedes tried to second guess what the rain might do on race day.
"The challenge for Sunday will be whether to favor a wet or dry setup, so we will need to see how the weather develops tomorrow," said Brawn. "We will then focus on what we expect to experience in the race, rather than the qualifying conditions. This is a track which responds very strongly to high downforce in the wet but it can be quite a disadvantage in the dry."