Hamilton fastest in FP2: F1 Belgian GP

By | August 26, 2017

Hamilton at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. on
Friday 25 August 2017.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W08 EQ Power+.
Copyright: image for Pirelli: Sam Bloxham/LAT Images
ref: Digital Image _W6I9342

Lewis Hamilton took over at the top of the timesheets at Spa-Francorchamps, beating first practice pacesetter Kimi Räikkonen by almost three tenths of a second. Valtteri Bottas was third in a session disrupted late in the session.

The quickest times of the session arrived just after the half hour mark, when the teams bolted on ultrasoft tyres for qualifying simulations. Vettel was first to show, grabbing P1 with a lap of 1:45.235. However, that was swiftly eclipsed by Bottas, the Mercedes driver edging ahead with a time of 1m45.180s.

Raikkonen, who had used ultrasoft tyres to top the opening session ahead of s soft-shod Hamilton, then made his claim for a session double by putting in a lap of 1:45.015. Hamilton wasn’t to be beaten this time, however, and with the purple-banded Pirellis onboard he set a time of 1:44.753 to end the session 0.262s ahead of Räikkönen.

It looked by Vettel might eclipse his team-mate as he went for another quick lap and set the fastest first sector, but he couldn’t find enough time in the remaining two sectors and he was pushed out to fifth as Max Verstappen stole ahead by one hundredth of a second.

With the qualifying simulations complete, attention then switched to longer runs but with a little less than half and hour remaining rain began to fall across the circuit.

As the downpour intensified only Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso went out to test the conditions. Equipped with intermediate tyres they tiptoed around but soon returned to the pitlane and the session and all running stopped.

Ricciardo was sixth fastest in the session, 0.8s off team-mate Verstappen, while  Nico Hulkenberg took seventh place for Renault ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) and Hulkenberg’s teammate Jolyon Palmer completed the top 10.

2017 Belgian Grand Prix – Free Practice 
1 Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 17 1:44.753
2 Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 21 1:45.015 0.262
3 Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes 17 1:45.180 0.427
4 Max Verstappen  Red Bull 16 1:45.225 0.472
5 Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 20 1:45.235 0.482
6 Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull 15 1:46.072 1.319
7 Nico Hulkenberg  Renault 24 1:46.441 1.688
8 Esteban Ocon  Force India 19 1:46.473 1.720
9 Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso 19 1:46.561 1.808
10 Jolyon Palmer  Renault 23 1:46.670 1.917
11 Fernando Alonso  McLaren 20 1:46.743 1.990
12 Sergio Perez  Force India 18 1:46.984 2.231
13 Romain Grosjean  Haas 15 1:47.285 2.532
14 Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren 17 1:47.303 2.550
15 Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso 12 1:47.450 2.697
16 Kevin Magnussen  Haas 15 1:47.556 2.803
17 Lance Stroll  Williams 13 1:47.861 3.108
18 Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 12 1:49.214 4.461
19 Pascal Wehrlein  Sauber 18 1:49.725 4.972

eom/FIA press release