Nico Rosberg set the pace during the opening practice session for Mercedes, despite being side lined early on due to a loss of power.
Rosberg was unable to post a time during the preliminary stages of running as he suffered a loss of power as he approached Blanchimont towards the end of his first flying lap.
Rosberg was able to return to the pits and later re-joined the action, clocking a time of 1:51.082 on Medium tyres to displace Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg’s best lap came shortly after the session was red flagged due to an accident involving Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado.
Maldonado, who had earlier slithered wide at Turn 9, lost control of his E23 Hybrid exiting Malmedy and struck the barriers on the inside of the circuit.
The front right corner of Maldonado’s car sustained substantial damage and the session was halted for 10 minutes to enable marshals to recover the stricken vehicle.
Hamilton’s initial time was sufficient to ensure Mercedes finished the 90 minute session 1-2, while Daniel Ricciardo was third for Red Bull.
Ferrari placed fourth and fifth courtesy of the newly re-signed Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel, while Daniil Kvyat finished sixth for Red Bull.
Toro Rosso’s Friday form continued with Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. netting seventh and eighth, while Sergio Pérez and Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10.
Maldonado was 11th despite his crash, with Nico Hülkenberg in 12th place for Force India.
Felipe Nasr, celebrating his 23rd birthday, was 13th, ahead of compatriot Felipe Massa and Marcus Ericsson.
McLaren could manage only 16th and 18th, with Fernando Alonso ahead of Jenson Button; the pair are set to drop to the back of the grid as a result of engine penalties.
They were split by Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer, while Manor Marussia occupied its usual position with Will Stevens in front of Roberto Merhi, the latter spinning at Bus Stop.