The teams practise their starts on the grid with Kobayashi topping the timesheet. Join us at this same link for the afternoon session from 1pm UK time - hopefully conditions will be improved.
Free Practice 1
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And Massa is beached - if that is the word today - at Bus Stop with steam coming out of the Ferrari. The steam evaporates and stewards wheel the F2012 away.
The chequered flag is out at the murky circuit as Di Resta snakes about but avoids the barrier. Phew. I find it surprising that more drivers don't crash in these conditions, no matter how careful they are being.
Hamilton lays down a solitary time of 2m16.827s - 14th place of 18.
Surprisingly Hamilton is out for a run despite rain falling ever more heavily.
My experience of F1 wet weather running is, as you can imagine, limited to Playstation games - one touch on the grass and I'm off. Sometimes I struggle to even get the car back on the circuit...
Schumacher has a moment in the Mercedes at the high-speed Eau Rouge but recovers to cut a corner and retain control.
Vett's lap, for what it's worth is 2m14.860s - good enough for ninth.
Rain is falling on the circuit. Attention will turn to the afternoon session soon - will it stop and the water drain off enough for meaningful running?
Rosberg up another place as Vettel comes out for a final run.
Alonso in the cockpit of the Ferrari and looking keen to get out there.
Rosberg up to eighth with the track largely quiet. /// @Lotus_F1Team: "Both cars back in: Cars go out. Cars come in. Cars go out. Cars come in. #SingingInTheSpa"
The timing is now working! So much for typing all those names out... Kobayashi in top spot. /// Rob: "Of course the info they get in that downpour is of almost zero use, with the exception of tyre temps - ride height to minimise aquaplaning and some possible info on the rear wing and diffuser"
Webber also eases around the escape road as he is put off by spray from the car in front.
Fifteen times set now - apologies for the lack of timing today. 1.Kobayashi 2.Maldonado 3.Ricciardo 4.Vergne 5.Perez 6.Webber 7.Bottas 8.Di Resta 9.Glock 10.Petrov 11.Button 12.Pic 13.Rosberg 14.Kovalainen 15.De la Rosa
Schumacher can feel a vibration on the front-left of his Mercedes. And Button also off at Les Combes briefly.
Perez also uses the escape road at Les Combes - Sauber having plenty of problems there - while the rain seems to have eased off.
And Button emerges in his McLaren after Hamilton takes a wander down the pitlane.
Vettel, who was testing out a nosecone, comes back in.
Vettel and Hamilton do not believe Ferrari is truly an underdog in the title battle.
Maldonado leads the way with 2m11.941s.
Ricciardo returns to P1 with 2m12.004s. McLaren and Ferrari not looking keen to get involved in this and risk a chassis.
So with half an hour left, 11 drivers have set a time: 1.Ricciardo 2.Kobayashi 3.Vergne 4.Perez 5.Webber 6.Maldonado 7.Bottas 8.Glock 9.Di Resta 10.Petrov 11.De la Rosa
Kobayashi sets a benchmark time of 2m12.015s as rain moves back in. Vettel told to pit for a front wing change before he can set a time.
Bottas, Paul di Resta, Sebastian Vettel and Schumacher join the fray. Vergne top of the timesheets with 2m13.179s.
Les Combes causing trouble for the Sauber of Kobayashi - he uses the escape road to continue on.
The four drivers have times on the board, with Ricciardo improving to 2m13.244s. /// The question, Rob, is whether any data that is gathered in such heavy rain is of any use in a wet race.
Ricciardo sets a time - 2m14.520s. Top of the order!
And Timo Glock takes the Marussia for a spin. We have running after all. Most of the other teams content to see how they get on.
His Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne also heads out...
Daniel Ricciardo decides to brave it on full wets. He will complete up to seven timed laps.
Halfway through the session with little sign of any running. Mark Webber believes that Red Bull is still the benchmark team despite the 2012 season being so competitive.
Kimi Raikkonen tells Sky that he would not bet on himself to win the world title - but the Ice Man was more confident in this interview.
Nope - still chucking it down.
Fans are huddled below plastic sheets with no cars to see on the track.
An hour remaining with just the one time set. Rain will stop in six minutes' time apparently.
Felipe Massa is confident that he has more to offer if Ferrari decides to re-sign him for next year, despite his difficult 2012 season. He hasn't been much help to Alonso...
Aussie Webber speaking to Sky: "It's very wet. We've got the car installed and car can have a look at it... the next two weeks we're on different packages, so today would have been useful to get data for those weekends too but it doesn't look likely."
The rain is really pounding down in the pitlane.
Kamui Kobayashi has set a timed lap of 2m17.705s. No one else has bothered.
Schumi and Webber back in.
Michael Schumacher comes out for a second run in this, his 300th race weekend.
Jenson Button and Mark Webber are out there, while Nico Rosberg stays out for a third lap.
You can gather wet weather data which may be useful over the weekend in sessions such as this, but when visibility is so low, it cannot be of much use - as HRT's Pedro de la Rosa points out.
Several further drivers have completed installation laps - on full wet tyres - for what they are worth.
Williams reserve driver Valtteri Bottas also tootling round, with Vitaly Petrov ahead of him in the Caterham barely visible from the cockpit.
Dani Clos, returning to action for HRT, ventures out. The car is throwing up plenty of spray.
James Frankland's in-depth look at this weekend's racing.
The hour-and-a-half-long session under way. Some drivers in their cars despite the levels of moisture on the circuit.
It is raining hard at Spa, the longest circuit on the calendar. Little surprise there then.
With the championship delicately poised, Will Gray considers whether now is the time for the leading teams to initiate team orders to chase down Alonso.
Can McLaren close the gap to championship leader Fernando Alonso?
Formula One returns after the mid-season break with the first free practice session from the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.