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Hamilton Fastest in Final Practice for Belgian Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ended the 3rd free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix on top of the time sheets ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton set the fastest time of 1:48.984 on his option tyre run which was 0.498s quicker than Rosberg who managed a 1:49.482. Hamilton gained almost 2 tenths in the middle sector on his fastest run over Rosberg.

Finishing in P3 was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with a time of 1:49.629, just 0.147s off Rosberg’s time. Kimi Raikkonen was finished P4 with a 1:49.864.

After a good run on the options Force India’s Sergio Perez finished P5. With a long run on the options after setting his fastest time, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo ended his session in P6 with a 1:49.980 with his team mate Daniil Kvyat in P7.

Nico Hulkenberg who suffered with under-steer issues throughout the session managed to finish 8th fastest. Both Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa finished 9th and 10th respectively. Despite the lackluster showing, Head of Performance Rob Smedley says that he expects to qualify higher up on the grid.

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz ended his session 11th fastest with team mate Max Verstappen in P13. Verstappen battled with grip for most of the session and struggled to find grip.

Lotus had a relatively muted session with Pastor Maldonado ending his session in P12 with team-mate Romain Grosjean finishing in 16th. Grosjean had a little moment with Raikkonen after the Chequered flag dropped when he was on a final timed lap and Raikkonen was coasting back to the pits. Grosjean nearly ran into the back of Raikkonen. He was furious with the incident. “Raikkonen is dangerous, it’s very dangerous what he did to me,” he said over the team radio.

Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson finished in P14 and P15 for Sauber.

It was not a good morning for McLaren and Fernando Alonso. Although Jenson Button managed to complete a number of laps on the new engine, Alonso was stuck in the garage and could not complete a timed lap. After an installation lap it temperatures on Alonso’s car started to increase, the mechanics got to work on the car and it was found that an exhaust gas leak was the cause for the rising temperatures. The McLaren mechanics worked on Alonso’s car throughout the session and they are hoping to get the car ready for qualifying.

With a combined 105-place grid penalty for both McLaren drivers, it does not seem as though qualifying will be priority for the team. The focus will turn to the race now.

Will Stevens and Rosbero Merhi finished their session in P18 and P19 for Manor.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:48.984s 15
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.482s +0.498s 19
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:49.629s +0.645s 17
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:49.864s +0.880s 19
5 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:49.866s +0.882s 15
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:49.930s +0.946s 20
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1:49.980s +0.996s 19
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:50.000s +1.016s 15
9 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:50.179s +1.195s 15
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:50.447s +1.463s 15
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1:50.552s +1.568s 20
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1:50.585s +1.601s 17
13 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1:50.599s +1.615s 21
14 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:50.690s +1.706s 17
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:51.054s +2.070s 20
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1:51.187s +2.203s 18
17 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:51.981s +2.997s 12
18 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1:54.262s +5.278s 16
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1:54.281s +5.297s 9
Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda No Time 1


Photo credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team

About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

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