Raikkonen tops final free practice at Spa-Francorchamps

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Belgium, Circuit De Spa-Francorchampsbe

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were atop the timesheet of the final free practice session ahead of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, later today. Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was however extremely close in third position.

The Finnish Ferrari driver had already topped FP1 and once again found himself fastest, on a circuit he is particularly fond of.

In a session where all cars ran the ultrasofts at one moment or another to prepare for qualifying, Raikkonen topped his Ferrari team mate by 2 tenths of a second. Weather remained particularly favourable throughout the session too, with similar conditions expected for qualifying in the afternoon.

The early pace was set by Hamilton on the super soft Pirelli tyres, but that situation rapidly changed when both Ferraris opted for one additional lap on the same set of supersofts, resulting in faster times for both, with Raikkonen having the edge on Vettel.

When they all switched to ultrasofts, Hamilton was unable to get back on top of the Ferraris, and saw Raikkonen end up fastest as well, mainly thanks to setting the best second sector, one that is known for its series of high speed corners, contrary to the longer full throttle sections that are contained in S1 and S3.

Behind Hamilton in third, the gap was wide as Verstappen was more than a second down on the pace setter, but still ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo as they completed the top 6 positions.

Jolyon Palmer came a strong 7th for Renault and quite a bit fastest than his team mate Hulkenberg as well., ahead of Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso.

There was trouble for Kvyat, whose Toro Rosso stopped with a loss of power and a small engine fire on the Kemmel straight halfway into the session.

Sauber's Markus Ericsson didn't get further than 6 laps in the 60-minute session.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
17Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:43.916-17
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1:44.113+0.197s15
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:44.114+0.198s11
433Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:45.034+1.118s13
577Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:45.230+1.314s18
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:45.286+1.370s18
730Jolyon PalmerRenault1:45.491+1.575s11
811Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:45.857+1.941s14
955Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:45.942+2.026s18
1014Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:46.060+2.144s12
1127Nico HulkenbergRenault1:46.064+2.148s11
1231Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:46.179+2.263s14
138Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:46.196+2.280s14
142Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda1:46.300+2.384s14
1518Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:46.620+2.704s18
1619Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:46.667+2.751s22
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:46.690+2.774s13
1826Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:47.903+3.987s7
1994Pascal WehrleinSauber Ferrari1:48.296+4.380s17
209Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:48.300+4.384s6