Spa, FP2: Raikkonen leads the way in Belgium

Hamilton 2nd, Bottas 3rd

By Franck Drui

24 August 2018 - 16:33
Spa, FP2: Raikkonen leads the way in (…)

Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen set the fastest time of the second free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, edging Drivers’ Championship leader Lewis Hamilton by 0.168s.

In the early part of the session Hamilton led the way on medium-compound Pirelli tyres and the Briton headed the timesheet with a time of 1:44.369. That left him just three thousandths of a second clear of Räikkönen, who ran on soft tyres during the opening phase of the 90 minutes,

Räikkönen was the first of the frontrunners to move to supersoft tyres for a qualifying simulation, just after the half-hour mark and he immediately moved to top of the order with a lap of 1:43.555.

Mercedes Valtteri Bottas then slotted into second with his qual sim, but he was swiftly demoted by team-mate Hamilton who moved into P2 behing Räikkönen with a time of 1:43.523.

Fourth place in the session went to Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, with the Dutch driver finishing 0.691 off the pace.

He was followed by Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari. The German might have finished higher up the timesheet but he was forced to abandon his push lap on supersofts when he made a mistake at Turn 14. The championship contended improved over the course of further quick to eventually set a best time of 1:44.046, which left him 0.083s adrift of Verstappen and 0.121s clear of seventh-placed Daniel Ricciardo who recovered from engine issues in the opening session to post a best time of 1:44.250.

The ‘new’ Racing Point Force India team, which had seen drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez finish seventh and ninth in the opening session, continued its good start to the weekend in afternoon practice, with Perez this time taking seventh spot. Ocon, though, slipped to P13.

Mercedes-powered Perez set a best time of 1:44.662 and that was good enough to give him an eight tenths of a second advantage over the man in P8, Renault’s Carlos Sainz. Ninth and tenth places in the session went to the Sauber duo of Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc.

01 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:43.355 29
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:43.523 28
03 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 1:43.803 29
04 Max Verstappen Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:44.046 25
05 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:44.129 31
06 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:44.250 31
07 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:44.662 27
09 Carlos Sainz Renault F1 1:45.481 29
09 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:45.537 24
10 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:45.622 25
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 1:45.753 28
12 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:45.817 29
13 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:45.935 24
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:46.078 29
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:46.080 33
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:46.153 28
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Honda 1:46.337 35
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:46.451 35
19 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:46.470 34
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:46.496 25


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