Hamilton tops 2nd Spa practice before rain hits

Hamilton quickest
Hamilton quickest

Lewis Hamilton turned a lap time of 1m44.753s on the ultra-soft Pirelli tires to lead the 2nd practice session for the Belgian GP. With about 30 minutes left to run heavy rain fell over the Spa track and that put an end to any more running.

Quickest in the first practice, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, was 2nd quick in session 2 some 0.262s behind the Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas slotted in third in the second Mercedes while Max Verstappen was 4th in his Red Bull ahead of the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

There's less than half a second separating first to fifth with things looking much closer than it appeared they might in FP1.

Alonso in the rain
Alonso in the rain

Both Renaults made the top ten, with Nico Hulkenberg seventh and Jolyon Palmer tenth. Between them came Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.

Hamilton had taken complete charge of the session, before heavy rain with 25 minutes to go persuaded the majority of drivers to cease their activities.

The Briton was fastest in 1m 45.634s on the supersoft Pirelli tires, from team mate Bottas on 1m 46.331s, before the wholesale switch to ultrasofts after the first half hour.

Raikkonen was 2nd quick in the #7 Ferrari
Raikkonen was 2nd quick in the #7 Ferrari

Vettel set the pace then for Ferrari with 1m 45.235s, which was soon beaten by Bottas (1m 45.180s) and then Raikkonen (1m 45.015s), with Verstappen joining in with 1m 45.225s, before Hamilton became the only runner to dip below the 1m 45s mark with 1m 44.753s. That left him 0.262s quicker than Raikkonen, with Bottas, Verstappen and Vettel next up.

Ricciardo didn’t switch to ultrasofts until late in the session, and took sixth on 1m 46.072s.

It was a relatively quiet session, though Haas’s Romain Grosjean complained initially that his DRS was sticking open, and both Toro Rossos suffered power loss. And Force India’s Sergio Perez complained when he felt Haas’s Kevin Magnussen had got in his way.

Meanwhile, Felipe Massa played no part in the session after Williams were forced to change his chassis after the Brazilian’s crash at the start of FP1 this morning.

Results

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:44.753 +0.000s 17
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:45.015 +0.262s 21
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:45.180 +0.427s 17
4 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:45.225 +0.472s 16
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:45.235 +0.482s 20
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:46.072 +1.319s 15
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:46.441 +1.688s 24
8 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:46.473 +1.720s 19
9 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1:46.561 +1.808s 19
10 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:46.670 +1.917s 23
11 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:46.743 +1.990s 20
12 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:46.984 +2.231s 18
13 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:47.285 +2.532s 15
14 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:47.303 +2.550s 17
15 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:47.450 +2.697s 12
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:47.556 +2.803s 15
17 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:47.861 +3.108s 13
18 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:49.214 +4.461s 12
19 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:49.725 +4.972s 18
20 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes No Time 0

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