Kimi Raikkonen tops the timesheets in FP1 in Belgium

25 August 2017

Kimi Raikkonen tops the timesheets in FP1 in Belgium
In the first practice session at the Spa- Francorchamps circuit today.

Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in a session that saw the drivers perfecting their set ups and seeing where they need to improve before FP2, FP3 and Qualifying on Saturday.

In the first 30 minutes of the session, Force India’s Esteban Ocon was top of the timesheets as he was the only driver to have completed a flying lap when Felipe Massa crashed after 15 minutes.

Massa ran wide across the gravel at the exit of Malmedy,(the Turn 7 right-hander after Les Combes), and crunched the front-left of his Williams into the tyre barrier. As a result of this incident, the session was stopped for 10 minutes and when running resumed Ocon’s lap time was swiftly beaten by his team-mate Sergio Perez and KimiRaikkonen, before Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton started posting more representative lap times.

But it wasn’t easy for Hamilton as he had to abort his first flying lap on softs when Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas suffered an odd trip into the gravel on the exit of the Turn 11/12 chicane before Stavelot.

Bottas appeared to be getting out of the way of a McLaren on the right-hand side and dipped a wheel off-track, which caused him to slide across the gravel and lightly bump the tyre barrier.

As Bottas slowly got his Mercedes out of trouble and back to the pits, Hamilton stayed out on the same set of tyres and pumped in a laptime that saw him at this stage of the session leap a second clear of Ricciardo.

Vettel made a late switch to ultra-soft tyres and fell a tenth short of Hamilton, but when Raikkonen made the same change with five minutes to go he edged ahead of Hamilton by 0.053s.

But it was Kimi Raikkonen who was fastest with a lap time of 1:45.502 ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place who was 0.053 seconds behind him and ahead of Sebastian Vettel in third place who was 0.145 seconds behind Raikkonen.

Max Verstappen finished the session in fourth place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in fifth place, Valtteri Bottas in sixth place, Carlos Sainz Jr in seventh place, Esteban Ocon in eighth place, Daniil Kvyat in ninth place and Stoffel Vandoorne who rounded off the top ten finishers.

Jolyon Palmer ended the session in eleventh place ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in twelfth place, Fernando Alonso in thirteenth place, Sergio Perez in fourteenth place and Lance Stroll in fifteenth place.

As we head into the latter stages of the grid, Kevin Magnussen ended the session in sixteenth place ahead of Romain Grosjean in seventeenth place, Marcus Ericsson in eighteenth place, Pascal Wehrlein in nineteenth place and Felipe Massa in twentieth place.

The classification of FP1 for the Belgian GP is as follows:-

1.Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1.45.502
2.Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 0.053s
3.Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 0.145s
4.Max Verstappen, Red-Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.800s
5.Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.850s
6.Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 0.922s
7.Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1.944s
8.Esteban Ocon, Force India-Mercedes, 2.168s
9.Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 2.168s
10.Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, 2.363s
11.Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 2.428s
12.Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 2.535s
13.Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda, 2.750s
14.Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 2.950s
15.Lance Stroll, Williams-Mercedes, 3.039s
16.Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, 3.113s
17.Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, 3.124s
18.Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari, 4.658s
19.Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber-Ferrari, 5.761s
20.Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, No Time Set

Driving for Pleasure will be covering the Belgium GP weekend with our practice, qualifying and race reports alongside the latest news.

Sarah Jones- @jonesy_laaa