Nico Rosberg set the fastest time during the second practice for the Belgian Grand Prix before suffering a frightening tyre failure at high speed.
Rosberg clocked a time of 1:49.385 on the Option tyres to register a lap 0.302s clear of Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton.
However, Rosberg’s day ended in the run-off at Blanchimont after his right rear tyre exploded on the straight between Stavelot and Blanchimont.
Rosberg was pitched into a high speed spin but fortunately his Mercedes W06 Hybrid came to a rest without making contact with the barriers.
The session was halted while the tyre debris was removed from the circuit.
Daniel Ricciardo was third quickest with Daniil Kvyat in fourth, as Red Bull emerged as Mercedes’ primary challenger.
Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen was fifth fastest, while Nico Hülkenberg matched Räikkönen’s time and ended sixth.
Romain Grosjean was seventh quickest as he returned to track action though his Lotus ground to a halt on the approach to Pouhon at the end of the session.
Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson claimed eighth but ended his day with a hefty crash.
Just a few minutes after the session resumed following Rosberg’s puncture, Ericsson lost control at Pouhon and slammed into the barriers, causing matters to be halted once more.
Felipe Nasr finished the session in ninth place for Sauber, while Sebastian Vettel completed the top 10.
Sergio Perez was 11th, ahead of Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen.
Valtteri Bottas placed 14th with Pastor Maldonado missing the first part of the session after his earlier crash; he wound up 15th, in front of Felipe Massa.
McLaren and Manor Marussia completed the runners, with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso nonetheless comfortably clear of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.