F1: Raikkonen on ultras pips Hamilton on softs in Belgian GP FP1

Source: @ScuderiaFerrari via Twitter

The “King of Spa” Kimi Rӓikkӧnen (Ferrari) was fastest on ultrasofts in today’s first Free Practice session, only pipping soft-shod Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) by 0.053 seconds.

Formula 1 is finally back after the long four-week summer break, and there is no place better than Spa-Francorchamps to kick off the second half of this enthralling 2017 Formula 1 season. As Friday’s first session got underway, all 20 drivers were ready to get back to business, starting with the usual installation laps and setup work.

After going into the summer break with high hopes after a successful Hungarian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso’s return from holiday was met with disappointment. The Spaniard suffered an initial loss of power but managed to crawl back to the pits and eventually finished in 13th.

Williams’ Felipe Massa also had a less than triumphant return. On his first flying lap he crashed out on at the exit of Malmedy, catching oversteer on the kerbing and bringing out the red flag. As a result of the incident, he was unable to set an FP1 time and is unlikely to participate in FP2, as his the damage to his FW40 requires a full chassis change. 

At the restart, Kevin Magnussen (Haas) had his headrest come loose after exiting the pitlane before Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) went fastest on the ultra-soft tyres with a 1:46.656.  

After setting his fastest time on the soft tyre, Valtteri Bottas went out the track at Turn 14 in a bizarre incident, after moving off the racing line to allow a faster car past. As the Finn went to accelerate, his right rear wheel went off track and caused him to lose control of the car and hit the barrier, causing minor front wing damage.

This was then followed by Hamilton posting a 1:45.555 on the soft tyre – the hardest tyre compound available – to go quickest.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel had a quiet session and finished third with a 1:45.647 on the ultra-soft tyre. But it was Rӓikkӧnen who finished in first, setting a 1:45.502 with five minutes left to go.

Formula 1 track action will resume later today for the second Belgian GP Free Practice session at 14:00 local time (13:00 BST).

Pos. Car No. Name (Nationality), Team Time
1 7 Kimi Rӓikkӧnen (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 1:45.502
2 44 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes 1:45.555
3 5 Sebastian Vettel (DEU), Scuderia Ferrari 1:45.647
4 33 Max Verstappen (NED), Red Bull Racing 1:46.302
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull Racing 1:46.352
6 77 Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes 1:46.424
7 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP), Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:47.446
8 31 Esteban Ocon (FRA), Force India 1:47.670
9 26 Daniil Kvyat (RUS), Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:47.851
10 2 Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL), McLaren 1:47.865
11 30 Jolyon Palmer (GBR), Renault 1:47.930
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg (DEU), Renault 1:48.037
13 14 Fernando Alonso (ESP), McLaren 1:48.252
14 11 Sergio Perez (MEX), Force India 1:48.452
15 18 Lance Stroll (CAN), Williams 1:48.541
16 20 Kevin Magnussen (DEN), Haas 1:48.615
17 8 Romain Grosjean (FRA), Haas 1:48.626
18 9 Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Sauber 1:50.160
19 94 Pascal Wehrlein (DEU), Sauber 1:51.263
20 19 Felipe Massa (BRA), Williams No Time