FP3: Raikkonen quickest with new Spa lap record


Kimi Raikkonen set a new lap record at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit to go P1 in Saturday’s final practice session.

After a slow start to FP3, the result of a few damp patches after heavy overnight rain, the drivers began to lay down the laps with Lewis Hamilton immediately going quickest.

With a set of supersofts bolted onto his W08, he went purple in all three sectors on his way to a 1:45.480.

Raikkonen lined up behind him in a repeat of Friday’s second practice timesheets before taking P1 with a 1:45.422 while Sebastian Vettel made it a Ferrari 1-2.

Midway through the hour-long session the top three were separated by just 0.058s.

Swapping to the ultrasoft tyres Red Bull briefly held the 1-2 with Max Verstappen ahead of Daniel Ricciardo but that ended as soon as Mercedes and Ferrari changed to the purple marked tyres.

Raikkonen posted a new lap record of 1:43.916 to go top with Vettel second, 0.197s down, and Hamilton third – a further 0.001s off the pace.

Verstappen dropped to fourth place finishing ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Ricciardo.

Jolyon Palmer was seventh for Renault ahead of Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso with Nico Hulkenberg just outside the top ten in P11.

Daniil Kvyat was one driver who didn’t have a good morning as his practice ended early when he lost power, parking his Toro Rosso on the side of the track. However, his woes were compounded when his STR12 caught fire.

Marcus Ericsson, who along with Pascal Wehrlein is facing a five-place gearbox penalty, covered just six laps and finished slowest of all.

1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:43.916
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:44.113 0.197
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:44.114 0.198
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:45.034 1.118
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:45.230 1.314
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:45.286 1.370
7 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:45.491 1.575
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:45.857 1.941
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:45.942 2.026
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:46.060 2.144
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:46.064 2.148
12 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:46.179 2.263
13 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:46.196 2.280
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:46.300 2.384
15 Lance Stroll Williams 1:46.620 2.704
16 Felipe Massa Williams 1:46.667 2.751
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:46.690 2.774
18 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:47.903 3.987
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:48.296 4.380
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:48.300 4.384