Wet weather tester for Alonso

Fernando Alonso admits he has had no practice at all for the rigours of driving his 2005 Renault in the wet.

Fernando Alonso admits he has had no practice at all for the rigours of driving his 2005 Renault in the wet.

The world championship leader needs to score four points more than Kimi Raikkonen to seal the title in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

But rain is forecast for race day and, due to Formula One’s testing restrictions, neither Alonso nor his Renault team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella have tested out their wet weather set-ups.

Testing is restricted to 30 days for each team – except Ferrari, who refuse to join the pact – and in order to maximise their time, teams cancel tests when rain is threatened.

After one slow lap of Spa in torrential rain yesterday, Alonso said: “It was my first time in the rain this year because we are not allowed to test more than 30 days so every test session it rains.

“We save that day to do another session somewhere else. For Giancarlo and for me it will be the first laps for us in the rain.

“It is the same for everybody, today in the two free practice we will have time to run but yesterday it was not possible because there was too much water on the straights and too much aquaplaning.

“Today if it is wet in the morning for sure the team’s will have to test something so we will run. We will be ready for qualifying and the race.”

Alonso was particularly disappointed to see his running cut short at the legendary Spa track, which he ranks as his favourite on the Formula One calendar.

“Of all the circuits, Spa is one which is the best for everyone,” he added. “So to run in the wet is a big disappointment because you really want to enjoy the circuit in the dry.

“I did only one installation lap, very slow. The conditions were not ready to run with a Formula One car.”

Alonso and title rival Raikkonen both run on Michelin tyres but the French company’s motorsport chief Pierre Dupasquier has raised doubts as to whether tomorrow’s race will go ahead as normal.

With rain expected throughout the weekend, Dupasquier has warned Michelin tyres are unable to cope with the kind of torrential rain seen at Spa yesterday, raising the prospect of a safety car race.

He said: “We are expecting the same thing for the rest of the weekend. It is the FIA’s decision whether they race or not, but the drivers do not want to go out with that kind of weather.

“The tyres could not handle this amount of water.”

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