FP1: Vettel heads Leclerc as Ferrari dominate first session at Spa

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

As running kicked off at Belgium's notorious Spa-Francorchamps circuit, it was rapidly clear that Ferrari didn't really have to put in much effort to go fastest. Vettel topped his team mate Leclerc while the competition ended nearly a second down.

Sunny skies greeted the Formula One teams in the Belgian Ardennes, allowing for a very useful 90 minutes of running.

The closest competitors to Ferrari were both Red Bulls, with Verstappen heading his new team mate, Alexander Albon, by less than a tenth. While Albon earlier admitted his Red Bull change may have come too early, he certainly didn't wander about and impressed to be so close to his team mate in only his first laps in the RB15.

Valtteri Bottas was next up for Mercedes, closely matched by team mate Lewis Hamilton. The Silver Arrows were already more than 1.3s down on the pace setter this morning. Neither driver however fitted the soft tyres, meaning there is much more to come from them later on.

Hamilton also had a rather worrying moment when he reported a loss of power midway into the session. Inspection by the team later revealed it was a minor problem with the throttle pedal, removing doubt about the reliability of the new specification of Mercedes power units fitted in the cars.

Behind them was Lance Stroll, who set an impressive 7th time after. The Canadian caused some headache in the Racing Point garage when early on in the session the left hand side of his engine cover blew off early on in the session. No harm was done though, except for a short Virtual Safety Car period to get debris out of the way.

Daniel Ricciardo followed up in 8th, ahead of the second Racing Point of Sergio Perez. Carlos Sainz secured the final spot in the top 10 for a slightly repainted McLaren MCL34.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1:44.574-20
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:44.788+0.214s20
333Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:45.507+0.933s18
423Alexander AlbonRed Bull Racing Honda1:45.584+1.010s19
577Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:45.882+1.308s25
644Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:45.973+1.399s16
718Lance StrollRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:46.198+1.624s16
83Daniel RicciardoRenault1:46.426+1.852s23
911Sergio PerezRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:46.433+1.859s22
1055Carlos SainzMcLaren Renault1:46.557+1.983s20
1127Nico HulkenbergRenault1:46.669+2.095s23
124Lando NorrisMcLaren Renault1:46.670+2.096s19
137Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:47.024+2.450s20
148Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:47.176+2.602s18
1599Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:47.333+2.759s22
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:47.488+2.914s21
1726Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:47.636+3.062s20
1810Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:47.968+3.394s26
1940Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:48.784+4.210s24
2088Robert KubicaWilliams Mercedes1:48.966+4.392s24