Belgian GP: Raikkonen outpaces Hamilton in FP2

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Belgian GP: Raikkonen outpaces Hamilton in FP2
Edd Straw
By: Edd Straw
Aug 24, 2018, 2:34 PM

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen topped the second Formula 1 free practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, outpacing Lewis Hamilton by 0.168s.

Hamilton initially had the advantage for Mercedes on the first runs, setting a best time of 1m44.369s on medium-compound Pirellis to go fastest.

But he was only 0.031s faster than Raikkonen, who used soft tyres, and things reversed when drivers moved on to their qualifying simulation runs.

Raikkonen was the first of the frontrunners to head out on the supersoft Pirellis, banging in a lap of 1m43.555s with just under 58 minutes of the session remaining.

Two minutes later, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas slotted into second, but Hamilton was already on his quick lap and reclaimed second place moments later with a time of 1m43.523s

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was forced to abort his first push lap thanks to a moment at the Turn 14 right hander, which eliminated any chance he had of challenging for top spot.

Although Vettel improved on his second and third quick laps to work down to a 1m44.046s, he ended up fifth behind the fourth-placed Red Bull of Max Verstappen, who lapped 0.691s off the pace.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest, just over two tenths behind Verstappen, after sitting out FP1 with an injector problem.

Racing Point Force India driver Sergio Perez was best of the rest in seventh place, and was one of the later drivers to head out on supersofts after a 21-minute stay in the pits – with only the McLaren drivers bolting on the fastest tyre compound after him.

Perez's lap of 1m44.662s was 1.308s off the best time but gave him a massive advantage of eight tenths of a second ahead of the rest of the midfield, headed by Renault's Carlos Sainz.

Sauber duo Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc set their best times moments apart to secure ninth and 10th, with less than a tenth of a second separating the pair.

Nico Hulkenberg was 11th fastest, but did not use the new-specification floor he ran in FP1 – as the part was given to Sainz for this session.

Haas pairing Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were 12th and 14th fastest, sandwiching the second Force India of Esteban Ocon – who only completed one lap on his first set of tyres thanks to a left-rear puncture.

Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 15 for Toro Rosso just ahead of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso, who posted his best lap with 35 minutes remaining.

Brendon Hartley, in the second Toro Rosso, was 17th ahead of Williams pairing Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll.

Stoffel Vandoorne was slowest for McLaren, with a lengthy stay in the pits following an initial run during which he described the car as "undriveable" ahead of a promised floor change.

He was the last driver to set his best time, but it was 0.026s slower than Stroll and moved him no further up the timesheets than his earlier pace on medium-compound Pirellis.

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 29 1'43.355     243.959
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 28 1'43.523 0.168 0.168 243.563
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 29 1'43.803 0.448 0.280 242.906
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 25 1'44.046 0.691 0.243 242.338
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 31 1'44.129 0.774 0.083 242.145
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 31 1'44.250 0.895 0.121 241.864
7 Mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 27 1'44.662 1.307 0.412 240.912
8 Spain Carlos Sainz   Renault Renault 29 1'45.481 2.126 0.819 239.042
9 Sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 24 1'45.537 2.182 0.056 238.915
10 Monaco Charles Leclerc  Sauber Ferrari 25 1'45.622 2.267 0.085 238.722
11 Germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 28 1'45.753 2.398 0.131 238.427
12 France Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 29 1'45.817 2.462 0.064 238.283
13 France Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 24 1'45.935 2.580 0.118 238.017
14 Denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 29 1'46.078 2.723 0.143 237.696
15 France Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Honda 33 1'46.080 2.725 0.002 237.692
16 Spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Renault 28 1'46.153 2.798 0.073 237.528
17 New Zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Honda 35 1'46.337 2.982 0.184 237.117
18 Russian Federation Sergey Sirotkin  Williams Mercedes 35 1'46.451 3.096 0.114 236.863
19 Canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 34 1'46.470 3.115 0.019 236.821
20 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Renault 25 1'46.496 3.141 0.026 236.763
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Belgian GP
Author Edd Straw
Article type Practice report