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.
|2||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:48.189||+0.215s||18|
|4||77||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Mercedes||1:48.504||+0.530s||17|
|5||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:48.635||+0.661s||20|
|6||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India Mercedes||1:48.739||+0.765s||12|
|7||6||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:48.742||+0.768s||19|
|8||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:48.783||+0.809s||21|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:48.915||+0.941s||12|
|10||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:49.272||+1.298s||16|
|11||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:49.453||+1.479s||9|
|12||21||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas Ferrari||1:49.631||+1.657s||16|
|13||22||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda||1:49.665||+1.691s||10|
|15||94||Pascal Wehrlein||MRT Mercedes||1:49.761||+1.787s||15|
|16||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:50.023||+2.049s||9|
|17||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:50.078||+2.104s||9|
|19||12||Felipe Nasr||Sauber Ferrari||1:50.420||+2.446s||13|
|20||31||Esteban Ocon||MRT Mercedes||1:50.693||+2.719s||18|
|21||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:51.319||+3.345s||5|
|22||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||-||-||2|