Raikkonen tops final practice at Spa-Francorchamps

By on
F1 Grand Prix, GP Belgium, Circuit de Spa-Francorchampsbe

Kimi Raikkonen emerged fastest at the end of an hour long battle between Ferrari and Red Bull Racing during FP3 of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend. The Finn was a few tenths quicker than Daniel Ricciardo while team mate Sebastian Vettel set the third best time.

The big talking point however turned out to be Pirelli's mandated minimum tyre pressures, which most teams believed was far higher than what would be normal for a racing tyre. Felipe Massa for instance went on record saying the pressures "are a joke", saying he had never experienced anything like this in his career. Together with the high temperatures - 30 degrees ambient, 36 on track - many teams struggled to get the balance of their cars properly tuned.

Valtteri Bottas meanwhile put some smiles on the faces at Williams, after a dismal Friday during which the team struggled for pace on both cars. He ended half a second down on the pace setter while Leaving Lewis Hamilton behind. The latter did however only complete a single lap on the super soft tyres, literally in the closing seconds of the session.

Nico Hulkenberg continued to keep Force India in the mix, ahead of Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes. Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean completed the top 10.

At the bottom of the timesheets was Max Verstappen, who suffered gearbox problems and was forced to sit out most of the session while the team tried to remedy the problem.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
17Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:47.974-11
23Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:48.189+0.215s18
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1:48.297+0.323s12
477Valtteri BottasWilliams Mercedes1:48.504+0.530s17
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:48.635+0.661s20
627Nico HulkenbergForce India Mercedes1:48.739+0.765s12
76Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:48.742+0.768s19
819Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:48.783+0.809s21
911Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:48.915+0.941s12
108Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:49.272+1.298s16
1114Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:49.453+1.479s9
1221Esteban GutierrezHaas Ferrari1:49.631+1.657s16
1322Jenson ButtonMcLaren Honda1:49.665+1.691s10
1420Kevin MagnussenRenault1:49.716+1.742s11
1594Pascal WehrleinMRT Mercedes1:49.761+1.787s15
1626Daniil KvyatToro Rosso Ferrari1:50.023+2.049s9
1755Carlos SainzToro Rosso Ferrari1:50.078+2.104s9
1830Jolyon PalmerRenault1:50.241+2.267s11
1912Felipe NasrSauber Ferrari1:50.420+2.446s13
2031Esteban OconMRT Mercedes1:50.693+2.719s18
219Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:51.319+3.345s5
2233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer--2