Brazilian driver Felipe Massa got an unwelcome surprise when the rear of his Ferrari started billowing smoke near the end of Friday's first practice session.
Massa was preparing to go out onto the rain-soaked Spa track near the end of P1 when he suddenly parked his car up. His Ferrari team later confirmed that a faulty engine was to blame.
“Obviously the engine failed. We’ll need to analyse it. I don’t think we have a clear answer at the moment,” Ferrari head of race engine Mattia Binotto. “The engine was quite close to the end of its life, so it's something that can normally happen on a Friday even if you never expect to have such a problem during a Friday practice session.
“We have been lucky due to the weather conditions so we have not compromised the programme of Felipe. The engine will be back in Maranello, we expect, next week,” he added.
Massa had a difficult season last year, finishing sixth overall, and is struggling this season. He is 14th overall, 139 points behind his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso, who is the overall championship leader.