FP2: Raikkonen fastest as Ferrari stay on top

Kimi Raikkonen: Top in FP2 in Belgium

Kimi Raikkonen: Top in FP2 in Belgium

Ferrari continued to set the pace in Belgium as Kimi Raikkonen replaced Sebastian Vettel at the top of the Friday timesheet.

Raikkonen posted a 1:43.355 on the supersoft tyres during his qualifying simulation runs, with Lewis Hamilton emerging as his nearest rival a tenth behind.

Valtteri Bottas, who will be starting Sunday’s race from the back of the grid after taking on a completely new power unit, was four tenths down on Raikkonen’s best in P3.

Sebastian Vettel was unable to put a clean lap together on his qualifying programme, meaning he split the Red Bulls down in P5.

Sergio Perez, racing for the newly-named Racing Front Force India, stamped in an impressive time in P7 – seven tenths quicker than the next midfield rival of Carlos Sainz.

Both Sauber drivers, Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc, completed the top 10.

After a few spots of rain on Friday morning, the weather was set pretty fair as drivers returned to the track for FP2, including Fernando Alonso who had handed his McLaren car over to Lando Norris in FP1.

In the opening stages, it was Hamilton and Raikkonen trading the early blows with the Brit setting a 1:44.369 on medium tyres and the ‘Ice Man’ 0.031 seconds behind on the softs.

Ricciardo, eager to make up for lost time after missing much of FP1, had one of his lap times deleted after cutting too much of the corner at Raidillon and setting off the specially-placed sensor.

The qualifying simulation programmes were next on the to-do list and Raikkonen, with some fresh supersofts strapped on, lowered the benchmark to a 1:43.355.

While Bottas could only get to within four tenths of his fellow Finn on his first attempt, Hamilton managed to narrow the gap to a tenth soon after switching to supersofts himself.

Vettel had to abort his first two attacking laps, locking up on his second attempt at La Source which saw him nine tenths down on his team-mate.

The German only improved by a couple of tenths next time around to split the two Red Bulls, who were not making too much impression either on their qualifying sim runs, in P5.

The drivers then racked up the laps on their race sims which passed without any major incidents.

But Hamilton did suffer a number of lock-ups which led to him flat-spotting his supersoft tyres.

FP2 timesheet

1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:43.355 29 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.168s 28 laps
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.448s 29 laps
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.691s 25 laps
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.774s 31 laps
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 0.895s 29 laps
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1.307s 25 laps
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 2.126s 29 laps
9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 2.182s 24 laps
10 Charles Leclerc Sauber 2.267s 24 laps
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 2.398s 28 laps
12 Romain Grosjean Haas 2.462s 28 laps
13 Esteban Ocon Force India 2.58s 22 laps
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 2.723s 28 laps
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 2.725s 32 laps
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 2.798s 28 laps
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 2.982s 34 laps
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 3.096s 34 laps
19 Lance Stroll Williams 3.115s 33 laps
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 3.141s 24 laps


All quickest times set on supersoft tyres.