FP1: Scrappy start as action resumes


Nico Rosberg was fastest, Red Bull and Ferrari looked in good shape, Jenson Button had issues and Pastor Maldonado found the barriers in FP1 at the Belgian GP.

Formula 1 returned on Friday after the traditional three-week summer break, but it wasn't all-out action for most the drivers and teams. In fact we had to wait more than 15 minutes before we had our first flying lap with Carlos Sainz initially setting the pace.

However, once the big boys got going the times dropped with Hamilton setting the benchmark with a 1:51.993 with the likes of Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull and the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel not too far behind.

Rosberg, meanwhile, lost drive early on while Button reported that the left-hand side of his McLaren was getting too hot. Both of them spent much of the first hour in the garage, but made it back out later.

After a lull, Maldonado got us going again, but actually not for long as he lost the rear of his Lotus and smashed into the barriers at Malmedy, which brought out the red flag.

Once the track was cleared, Rosberg finally had a solid run and he went fastest with a 1:51.200 before improving with a 1:51.082 later on, edging Hamilton by 0.242 while Ricciardo was third fastest with a 1:51.373 and Raikkonen and Vettel completing the top five. 

The rest of the top 10 included Daniil Kvyat, the Toro Rossos of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas.

Quite a few teams brought upgraded packages to Spa with Honda providing McLaren with a new-spec engine and the MP4-30 was a bit quicker through the speed traps, but they still have a bit to do to catch up to the top teams while the two Merc cars sported new banana-shaped rear wings.

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:51.082 19 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:51.324 0.242 24 laps
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:51.373 0.291 18 laps
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:51.478 0.396 23 laps
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:51.866 0.784 21 laps
6 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:51.960 0.878 18 laps
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:52.158 1.076 27 laps
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:52.421 1.339 26 laps
9 Sergio Perez Force India 1:52.423 1.341 20 laps
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:52.511 1.429 19 laps
11 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:52.539 1.457 15 laps
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:52.614 1.532 20 laps
13 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:52.640 1.558 16 laps
14 Felipe Massa Williams 1:52.653 1.571 22 laps
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:53.426 2.344 16 laps
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:53.502 2.420 15 laps
17 Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1:53.799 2.717 23 laps
18 Jenson Button McLaren 1:54.225 3.143 14 laps
19 Will Stevens Manor 1:55.501 4.419 16 laps
20 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:56.086 5.004 17 laps