Hamilton Heads Rosberg With Blistering FP2 Run


Lewis Hamilton produced a sensational run on the softer tyre to finish top of the timesheets on Friday afternoon at Spa-Francorchamps. The Briton was pipped by Nico Rosberg in the morning session but responded in the afternoon to lap six tenths quicker than his teammate as Mercedes enjoyed a comfortable advantage over the competition.

The afternoon began in dramatic fashion with Max Chilton reappearing in the second Marussia after solving contractual issues which had initially seen Alexander Rossi take over the seat. The American wasn’t the only driver watching from the sidelines though with Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull requiring a change of power unit, ruling the reigning champion out of FP2.

Pastor Maldonado had no such problems and was straight out on track for the second session of the day but his afternoon would end shortly after it had begun with the Venezuelan losing control on the exit of turn eleven before slamming into the barrier, coming to rest at Pouhon. With debris strewn across the track, the session was halted while the circuit was cleared but the resumption was all-too brief as Esteban Gutierrez spun to a halt at Blanchimont, bringing the red flags out once again.

After a messy opening thirty minutes, the option tyre runs commenced with Jenson Button setting the fastest first sector of all on the way to a 1:50.659, four tenths quicker than his teammate Kevin Magnussen, but the works Mercedes squad raised the bar when they switched to the softer rubber, Rosberg clocking a 1:49.793. Nico’s lap did include a slight mistake on the exit of Les Combes but even so, he had no answer for Hamilton’s best effort as the Briton set a 1:49.189 to end the day on top.

After keeping the Mercedes duo honest in FP1, Fernando Alonso continued to be the nearest challenger with a 1:49.930 good enough for third overall while Felipe Massa grabbed fourth for Williams, pushing Button’s McLaren down to fifth. Valtteri Bottas completed the top six ahead of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo who over 1.5s off the pace in the quickest Renault-powered machines. Kevin Magnussen was relegated to ninth while Nico Hulkenberg ensured seven Mercedes-powered cars would make up the top ten after setting a 1:51.077 in his Force India.

 

 FORMULA SHELL BELGIAN GRAND PRIX – FRIDAY PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION
POS DRIVER TEAM TYRE TIME 
1  44. LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES SOFT 1:49.189 FP2
2  6. NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES SOFT 1:49.793 FP2
3  14. FERNANDO ALONSO FERRARI SOFT 1:49.930 FP2
4  19. FELIPE MASSA WILLIAMS MERCEDES SOFT 1:50.327 FP2
5  22. JENSON BUTTON McLAREN MERCEDES SOFT 1:50.659 FP2
6  77. VALTTERI BOTTAS WILLIAMS MERCEDES SOFT 1:50.677 FP2
7  26. DANIIL KVYAT STR RENAULT SOFT 1:50.725 FP2
8  3. DANIEL RICCIARDO RED BULL RACING RENAULT SOFT 1:50.977 FP2
9  20. KEVIN MAGNUSSEN McLAREN MERCEDES SOFT 1:51.074 FP2
10  27. NICO HULKENBERG FORCE INDIA MERCEDES SOFT 1:51.077 FP2
11  25. JEAN-ERIC VERGNE STR RENAULT SOFT 1:51.383 FP2
12  99. ADRIAN SUTIL SAUBER FERRARI SOFT 1:51.450 FP2
13  11. SERGIO PEREZ FORCE INDIA MERCEDES SOFT 1:51.573 FP2
14  8. ROMAIN GROSJEAN LOTUS RENAULT SOFT 1:52.196 FP2
15  7. KIMI RAIKKONEN FERRARI SOFT 1:52.234 FP2
16  17. JULES BIANCHI MARUSSIA FERRARI SOFT 1:52.776 FP2
17  1. SEBASTIAN VETTEL RED BULL RACING RENAULT MEDIUM 1:53.361 FP1
18  21. ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ SAUBER FERRARI MEDIUM 1:53.955 FP2
19  4. MAX CHILTON MARUSSIA FERRARI SOFT 1:54.040 FP2
20  9. MARCUS ERICSSON CATERHAM RENAULT SOFT 1:54.050 FP2
21  45. ANDRE LOTTERER CATERHAM RENAULT SOFT 1:54.093 FP2
22  36. GIEDO VAN DER GARDE SAUBER FERRARI MEDIUM 1:54.335 FP1
23  13. PASTOR MALDONADO LOTUS RENAULT MEDIUM 1:55.336 FP1
24  42. ALEXANDER ROSSI MARUSSIA FERRARI MEDIUM 1:57.232 FP1