Sebastian Vettel said he was actually happy to be unable to run in first practice for the Belgian Grand Prix. The Red Bull Racing driver has only two new engines available until the end of the season before he gets a penalty for using a ninth power unit, having lost two at the European Grand Prix last weekend.
His situation means Red Bull will limit his mileage in practice. But with the first session at Spa being hit by rain, Vettel felt there was not much to lose by not going out.
"We didn't have so much running time today, especially in the morning, but that was actually quite good for us," said Vettel, who 25 laps in the afternoon."We knew we would face a difficult Friday as we have that much mileage available because of my engine situation, so it was a little lucky to have the rain this morning.
"In the afternoon, I felt comfortable with the car, we didn't have any problems and I'm quite happy with the performance. We need see exactly where we are tomorrow, but think it's been a good start to the weekend. I love this circuit, it has excellent corners and is a lot of fun."
Team-mate Mark Webber, fourth quickest, felt the team had extracted the maximum from the day.
"I think that's the most we could have hoped for during today's session," he said. "You always expect to lose a session in Spa to the changeable weather conditions and that was the case this morning. We had pretty productive afternoon with plenty go through.
"We didn't always move in the right direction, but that's not always a bad thing as we learn from it. So, that's today and now we'll put it all in focus for tomorrow -- not a bad start for us."