FP1: Rosberg sets the pace with Halo


Nico Rosberg was the driver to beat at Spa on Friday morning as he put in the first laps with Halo done in anger. Lewis Hamilton, who faces a 15-place penalty, was second.

Formula 1 returned from the summer break with a look at the future as Daniel Ricciardo, Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz all ran the Halo on their cars.

It was a one-lap outing for most as they were quick to remove it and get down to the business of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Rosberg did not. The Mercedes driver opted to keep Halo fitted to his W07 and set the early pace.

He posted a 1:49.4 on Pirelli’s prototype tyres and followed that up with a 1:48.3 on the supersofts – and all the time running Halo.

Hamilton slotted into second place, 0.730s down on his team-mate, while Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were next in line at the halfway point.

Ferrari came to the fore in the latter half of the 90-minute practice as Kimi Raikkonen went third quickest.

A 1:49.147 for the Finn put him just 0.799s down on Rosberg. Raikkonen was using the soft tyres to Rosberg’s supersofts.

Perez split the Ferraris as he went fourth quickest and was the final driver to get within a second of Rosberg’s P1 time.

Sebastian Vettel was fifth ahead of Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo. The latter was 2.008s off the pace.

Valtteri Bottas completed the top eigth ahead of Max Verstappen and Esteban Gutierrez, who is still chasing his first point of this season.

Esteban Ocon, making his Manor debut, was P16. His best lap time, a 1:51.787, was a full second faster than his team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.

It was a disappointing morning for Fernando Alonso. He covered three laps without a time before McLaren reported: “Fernando’s session is done. After an inspection the decision has been taken to change his power unit.”

The Spaniard was running Honda’s newest upgrade as too was Jenson Button, who finished P18.

1  Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’48.348 27 laps
2  Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’49.078 0.730 25 laps
3  Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’49.147 0.799 24 laps
4  Sergio Perez Force India 1’49.274 0.926 23 laps
5  Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’49.768 1.420 19 laps
6  Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’49.782 1.434 24 laps
7  Max Verstappen Red Bull 1’49.865 1.517 24 laps
8  Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1’50.088 1.740 21 laps
9  Valtteri Bottas Williams 1’50.394 2.046 31 laps
10  Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1’50.583 2.235 21 laps
11  Romain Grosjean Haas 1’50.899 2.551 18 laps
12  Felipe Massa Williams 1’51.122 2.774 28 laps
13  Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1’51.125 2.777 16 laps
14  Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1’51.424 3.076 17 laps
15  Felipe Nasr Sauber 1’51.768 3.420 19 laps
16  Esteban Ocon Manor 1’51.787 3.439 26 laps
17  Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1’52.308 3.960 19 laps
18  Jenson Button McLaren 1’52.407 4.059 18 laps
19  Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1’52.837 4.489 23 laps
20  Kevin Magnussen Renault 1’53.053 4.705 20 laps
21  Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’53.089 4.741 20 laps
22  Fernando Alonso McLaren 3 laps