Belgian Grand Prix: Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen take top spot in FP1
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News August 25, 2017 Updated: 6:32 PM
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the first free practice session of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen finished 0.053s ahead of the Hamilton, in second with a time of 1:45.502. Hamilton also did a few laps with the Halo system which had recently been approved for the 2018 season.
“Spa is quite a unique place: it’s an old fashioned circuit and I like it very much; a challenging place, great for drivers and for the spectators; a lot of overtaking and many other things happen in a race that is always unpredictable,” said Raikkonen.
Third went to Raikkonen’s teammate Sebastian Vettel who finished just 0.097s behind Hamilton. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished fourth as the Dutchman expects support from 80,000 of his countrymen this weekend. Daniel Riccardo finished just 0.050s behind his teammate in fifth.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas finished in sixth after running wise at turn 12, touching the barrier, and damaging his front wing.
“it was a tricky day. We had some trouble setting up the car and I didn’t feel too comfortable in the beginning. But in the end it was getting better, we made quite big steps,” said Bottas.
Seventh went to Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz with Esteban Ocon in eighth for Force India. Sainz' teammate Daniil Kvyat finished ninth while Stoffel Vandoorne crossed the line in 10th in front of his home crowd.
Jolyon Palmer finished just below the top ten in 11th followed by teammate Nico Hulkenburg in 12th. Fernando Alonso finished 13th in the second McLaren-Honda with Alonso sporting an upgraded power unit this weekend.
Sergio Perez finished 14th in the other Force India while Lance Stroll took 15th. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen finished 16th with teammate Romain Grosjean in 17th. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson finished 18th with Pascal Wehrien 0.103s from his teammate in 19th.
“I had technical difficulties in the morning, followed by rain which had an influence on our FP2 programme. My team of mechanics worked hard in FP1 and managed to fix the issues we were having and get me back on the track. Due to the circumstances, however, I was unable to complete as many laps as I would have liked today. I am positive that after we sit down and look into our data we can improve our performance for the rest of the weekend” said Wehrien.
Early in the session Felipe Massa lost the rear of his car making contact with the barrier triggering a red flag. Massa’s car took heavy damage resulting replacing the car’s chassis. The team is confident it will be done by FP2.