Kimi Raikkonen leads a Ferrari 1-2 in FP3 in Belgium

26 August 2017

In the final practice session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit today, Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in a session that saw the drivers perfecting their set ups and seeing where they need to improve before Qualifying in just over an hour’s time.

During FP3, Daniil Kvyat had a terrible time as he reported in the first half of the session that the Renault engine in his Toro Rosso is misfiring. However, early in the second half of the session; the Renault engine completely lost power within the first two sectors of the lap and Kvyat had to make his own way back to the pits as the marshals safely recovered the car off the circuit.

With not much activity on the circuit in the first half of the session as drivers and teams focused on their long run pace, it was all eyes on the final 25 minutes of the session.

With Hamilton making his intentions known, it was up to Ferrari and Red Bull to see who can match his pace. And boy what a final 20 minutes we had. We saw Max Verstappen putting in a time that was a couple of tenths quicker than his more experienced team mate Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen putting in an astonishing lap to lead the timesheets in the final stages of the lap as his team mate Sebastian Vettel put in a brilliant lap time to outperform Hamilton by 0.001 seconds.

Felipe Massa under investigation for failing to stop under double yellow flags regarding the safe removal of Kvyat’s car that stopped on the circuit.
New track record.

But it was Kimi Raikkonen who was fastest with a lap time of 1:43.916 and set a new track record at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit since Q2 in 2009. Raikkonen finished ahead of his team mate Sebastian Vettel in second place who was 0.197 seconds behind him and ahead of Lewis Hamilton in third place who was 0.198 seconds behind Hamilton.

Max Verstappen finished the session in fourth place ahead of Valtteri Bottas in fifth place, Daniel Ricciardo in sixth place, Jolyon Palmer in a brilliant seventh place, Sergio Perez in eighth place, Carlos Sainz Jr in ninth place and Fernando Alonso who rounded off the top ten finishers.

Nico Hulkenberg ended the session in eleventh place ahead of Esteban Ocon in twelfth place, Romain Grosjean in thirteenth place, Stoffel Vandoorne in fourteenth place and Lance Stroll in fifteenth place.

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

The classification of FP3 for the Belgian GP is as follows:-

1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:43.916
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 0.197s
3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 0.198s
4. Max Verstappen, Red-Bull-TAG Heuer, 1.118s
5. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1.314s
6. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-TAG Heuer, 1.370s
7. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1.575s
8. Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 1.941s
9. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 2.026s
10. Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda, 2.144s
11. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 2.148s
12. Esteban Ocon, Force India-Mercedes, 2.263s
13. Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, 2.280s
14. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, 2.384s
15. Lance Stroll, Williams-Mercedes, 2.704s
16. Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, 2.751s
17. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, 2.774s
18. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 3.987s
19. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber-Ferrari, 4.380s
20. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari, 4.384s

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

Sarah Jones- @jonesy_laaa