Formula 1

F1 Belgium: Hamilton Hits the Front in FP2 at Spa-Francorchamps

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Lewis Hamilton was quickest in FP2 from Kimi Raikkonen - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lewis Hamilton hit the front during the second free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday as the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team began to show the kind of pace it has this weekend in Belgium.

After finishing second to Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in the first session, Hamilton raised the bar in the afternoon session, setting a best time of 1:44.753s, 0.262 seconds clear of the Finn, who once again bettered team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who languished down in fifth.

Valtteri Bottas ended the session third in the second Mercedes, 0.427 seconds off the pace, with both Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Vettel within six-hundredths of a second of the Finn.

Daniel Ricciardo failed to get a representative lap time in after a problem during the first half of the session restricted the running of the second Red Bull driver, while a heavy rain shower ended his and anyone else’s opportunity to improve.

Nico Hülkenberg concluded the session in seventh for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team and set the most number of laps of the session – twenty-four – in setting a best time of 1:46.441s, while team-mate Jolyon Palmer was not far away, finishing 0.229 seconds down in tenth.

Esteban Ocon again was the quicker of the two Sahara Force India F1 Team drivers, ending up eighth with team-mate Sergio Perez outside the top ten in twelfth, while ninth position went to Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr.

Fernando Alonso was just 0.073 seconds off the top ten in the leading of the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team entries, with team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne down in fourteenth in front of his home fans behind Perez and Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean.

Both Grosjean and team-mate Kevin Magnussen suffered similar DRS failures early in the session, while the Dane, who ended up sixteenth behind Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, angered Force India’s Perez by getting in his way at turn nine before weaving in front of the Mexican on the run to Pouhon.

Lance Stroll was the only Williams Martini Racing driver to take to the track, with Felipe Massa consigned to the garage as his team continued to repair his car following his crash early in first practice. The Canadian could only finish seventeenth fastest, ahead only of the two Sauber F1 Team drivers, Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

Spa-Francorchamps Free Practice 2 Result

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