Ferrari unbeatable on both Friday sessions

By on Friday, August 24, 2018

The 13th round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship began with two practice session at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps as teams returned in earnest from the FIA-imposed summer shutdown to prepare for the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – were run under mostly cloudy and relatively cool conditions, with drivers navigating the longest venue in Formula One.

Fastest in FP1 was Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, whose quick lap of 1:44.358 was .151 of a second better than the next quickest driver, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.

“Overall, I think it’s going the right way. Today it was a bit difficult to figure out where we are and I think we’ll have to wait for tomorrow to have a better idea," said Vettel.

"The new engine has done what it was supposed to do. Today everything was working well. Now we’ll see about tomorrow: rain shouldn’t give us any more problems and, should we have wet conditions, it would be quite nice to have confirmation that we found the right things to do. On this track everything seems to happen faster, so it should be a lot of fun and if we have dry conditions tomorrow for qualifying, we should be ok.

"There are still some special tracks on the calendar and for sure this one in Spa is very exciting in terms of cornering speeds. We still need to do some work, but we have time to do it”.

FP1 results:

1.  S. Vettel      Ferrari      01:44.358 19
2.  M. Verstappen      Red Bull      01:44.509 20
3.  L. Hamilton      Mercedes      01:44.676 22
4.  K. Räikkönen      Ferrari     01:44.718 17
5.  V. Bottas      Mercedes     01:44.724 25
6.  D. Ricciardo      Red Bull     01:45.558 4
7.  E. Ocon      Racing Point     01:45.786 22
8.  N. Hulkenberg      Renault     01:45.951 19
9.  S. Pérez      Racing Point     01:46.169 21
10.  C. Sainz Jr.      Renault     01:46.210 19
11.  P. Gasly      Toro Rosso     01:46.300 25
12.  R. Grosjean      Haas     01:46.387 20
13.  C. Leclerc      Sauber     01:46.554 20
14.  M. Ericsson      Sauber     01:46.557 19
15.  B. Hartley      Toro Rosso     01:46.932 23
16.  L. Stroll      Williams     01:46.965 25
17.  K. Magnussen      Haas     01:47.012 21
18.  L. Norris      McLaren     01:47.364 26
19.  S. Sirotkin      Williams     01:47.367 23
20.  S. Vandoorne      McLaren     01:47.452 13

Scuderia Ferrari remained atop FP2, but with Kimi Räikkönen leading the way. His lap of 1:43.355 was .168 of a second better than his nearest pursuer, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps track record of 1:42.553, set last year by Hamilton in the final round of qualifying, remained intact.

“That was our first day of practice after the break; we did our pretty usual job to get a feeling for the car once again," said Räikkönen.

"I enjoy driving on this track, it has a good flow and this generation of cars are pretty nice to drive here. I think Spa is a great circuit, but obviously this doesn’t make you faster or slower!

"We always say that Friday is Friday and times don’t really matter today; it was ok, but for sure we still have some work ahead of us. Tomorrow we’ll try to do our best and see where we end up.  We expected some rain today but it did not come. But the weather can still be a key point this weekend, as it changes very quickly here”.

FP2 results:

1.  K. Räikkönen      Ferrari     01:43.355 29
2.  L. Hamilton      Mercedes     01:43.523 28
3.  V. Bottas      Mercedes     01:43.803 29
4.  M. Verstappen      Red Bull     01:44.046 25
5.  S. Vettel      Ferrari     01:44.129 31
6.  D. Ricciardo      Red Bull     01:44.250 31
7.  S. Pérez      Force India     01:44.662 27
8.  C. Sainz Jr.      Renault     01:45.481 29
9.  M. Ericsson      Sauber     01:45.537 24
10.  C. Leclerc      Sauber     01:45.622 25
11.  N. Hulkenberg      Renault     01:45.753 28
12.  R. Grosjean      Haas     01:45.817 29
13.  E. Ocon      Force India     01:45.935 24
14.  K. Magnussen      Haas     01:46.078 29
15.  P. Gasly      Toro Rosso     01:46.080 33
16.  F. Alonso      McLaren     01:46.153 28
17.  B. Hartley      Toro Rosso     01:46.337 35
18.  S. Sirotkin      Williams     01:46.451 35
19.  L. Stroll      Williams     01:46.470 34
20.  S. Vandoorne      McLaren     01:46.496 25


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