Belgian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

Topping them all

Lewis Hamilton, Belgian GP 2017

Lewis Hamilton, Belgian GP 2017 

 © RV Press

 

By Dan Knutson in Spa-Francorchamps

Lewis Hamilton topped the opposition in Free Practice 2 for the Belgian Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver was the only one to break into the one minute 44 second lap time bracket.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Centigrade).

The lineup for the weekend was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Red Bull TAG Heuer - Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen; Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen; Force India Mercedes - Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon; Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll; McLaren Honda - Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne; Renault - Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer; Toro Rosso Renault - Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz; Haas Ferrari - Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; Sauber Ferrari - Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

Massa, however, had to miss the session after crashing in FP1. The Williams team needed to build up another car around a new chassis and it would have to go through scrutineering.

Raikkonen went quickest in FP1 with a time of 1:45.502 on the ultra soft Pirellis. But Hamilton had been just 0.053 of a second slower using the soft compound.

Vettel set the early pace with a 1:46.405 on the super softs. Then Hamilton got down to a 1:45.634 on the soft compound tires.

Nobody could get close to that lap time. Bottas was second after posting a 1:46.331 on the super softs.

One-third of the way into FP2 several drivers headed out on the ultra softs including Bottas who went first with a time of 1:45.180. Raikkonen beat that with a 1:45.015. Then Hamilton topped them all with a 1:44.753.

So the order was now Hamilton, Raikkonen, Bottas, Verstappen, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Ocon, Sainz, Palmer and Perez. All had used the ultra soft tires.

Ricciardo would later move into sixth.

The teams wanted to spend the final third of the session doing long runs on worn tires. There was a threat of rain, and sure enough it started to rain on several turns with about 25 minutes remaining. And the drivers headed for the pits.

A few drivers ventured out on rain tires, but conditions so became too bad for them to continue.

The final order of the top 10 was Hamilton on top of Raikkonen, Bottas, Verstappen, Vettel, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Ocon, Sainz and Palmer.


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