Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016

Raikkonen quickest in final Belgian practice

2016 Belgian Grand Prix third practice

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Ferrari topped the time sheets in final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, with Kimi Raikkonen setting the pace ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton was fifth quickest, with Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg seventh. Max Verstappen was unable to set a timed lap after Red Bull discovered an apparent gearbox issue with his RB12.

It was another warm, sunny session in the Ardennes mountains, with ambient temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius.

After some tense moments between drivers yesterday, there was more aggravation this morning. Pascal Wehrlein fumed at Esteban Gutierrez when he came across the Haas driver dawdling in the middle of the track at Radillion which forced the Manor onto the grass. The incident will be investigated by the stewards.

Sebastian Vettel was also unhappy with a fellow driver once again, after his attempts to pass Kevin Magnussen’s Renault in Blanchimont on a flying lap were rebuffed.

With Hamilton set for a 55-place grid penalty after qualifying, the championship leader was purely focused on race pace, putting in a long run on the soft compound with race fuel.

As teams bolted on super-soft tyres for the usual mock-qualifying runs at the end of the session, it was Kimi Raikkonen who set the benchmark with a 1’47.974 – the fastest lap of the weekend so far.

Nico Rosberg was unable to keep his tyres switched on throughout a whole lap and could only set the seventh-quickest time, while Hamilton suffered a similar drop-off and logged the fifth-fastest time with his single flying lap.

PositionDriverTeamLap time
1Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’47.974
2Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’48.189
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’48.297
4Valtteri BottasWilliams1’48.504
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’48.635
6Nico HulkenbergForce India1’48.739
7Nico RosbergMercedes1’48.742
8Felipe MassaWilliams1’48.783
9Sergio PerezForce India1’48.915
10Romain GrosjeanHaas1’49.272
11Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’49.453
12Esteban GutierrezHaas1’49.631
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’49.665
14Kevin MagnussenMercedes1’49.716
15Pascal WehrleinManor1’49.761
16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1’50.023
17Carlos SainzToro Rosso1’50.078
18Jolyon PalmerRenault1’50.241
19Felipe NasrSauber1’50.420
20Esteban OconManor1’50.693
21Marcus EricssonSauber1’51.319
22Max VerstappenRed BullNo time set

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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21 comments on “Raikkonen quickest in final Belgian practice”

  1. Really have no clue what quali will look like. The Merc just doesn’t looks that fast over one lap.

    1. of course they don’t … nudge nudge, wink wink, know what I mean ?

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        27th August 2016, 12:27

        Why would the focus on one lap speed (quali time). Not relevant for Hamilton, and less of an issue for Rosberg.
        Both Mercs will focus on race speed (and overtaking in the case of Hamilton).

  2. Esteban goes on with what he does best and similar can be said for Kevin M. Really don’t know what is Esteban problem with not moving out of the way and for Mag…well,maybe all that (undeserved)hype gets him to think he is actually excellent driver….which he isn’t. Too much blocking and pushing other drivers off track in his career so far.

    1. @dex022, at least he is still several places ahead of Palmer at the end of the session. Speaking of Magnussen, I never knew that Mercedes had expanded to a three car team – Keith, you might want to correct him back to being a Renault driver.

  3. What’s going on here? Ferrari and red bull were both looking quicker than the mercs at a track that they have been dominant for the past 3 seasons.

    Might have just been the higher track temps that’s mixing up the pecking order, but nonetheless, this should be a very interesting quali and race weekend. My bet is that this might be the best race of the year so far.

    1. ratings. the only way you know if Merc is really getting slower is get someone to challenge their championships, competition is the only way you know how fast they can really go. Ratings are more important than a few ‘extra’ points.

      1. @xsavior I have absolutely no idea what you are on about.

        @todfod I think the temperatures may have something to do with it. Mercedes has appeared to struggle in warmer conditions in recent history and we are having uncharacteristically warm and dry conditions this weekend.

        Or they could just be sandbagging still.

  4. Kimi. The King of Spa

  5. funny how Merc are sluggish in a round that Lewis has to start from the back of the grid (was always going to happen). Maybe it would look bad if Nico were getting gifted another win, and Merc’s reliability were punishing Lewis one more time…. :) :) :) Food for thought.

    1. Mercedes do t really need to push all that much. Spa is a predominantly a power circuit.. Mercedes have spent 5 tokens on an already dominant PU for spa, I seriously doubt they’re ‘slow’ around here, probably working more on race pace than qualifying pace :)

    2. @xsavior
      So what are you on about, what are your thoughts?

      1. risk and reward, and the lack of any real competition to keep Mercedes honest.

        that said, I am sure Ferrari will get a great start, so the race isn’t “for sure”. But I had every confidence a certain someone would take pole by a slim margin, because thats the best for “everybody”.

    3. @xsavior
      So what are your thoughts, what are you on about?

  6. Is 55 places a record grid penalty?

    1. the record is held by Jenson Button who had total of 120 grid place penalty last year , and then Fernado Alonso with mere 115 grid spot penalty in the same weekend. If you remember by year’s end mclaren drivers had each taken 10 and 12 new whole engines across the board just to test engine for 2016.

      1. I think Luke is right, it looks like a record. Those numbers (120 and 115) seem to be the aggregated total for the whole 2015 season. The highest grid penalty last year was 30 places, which both Alonso (Belgium) and Kimi (Mexico) got. They probably “held the record” jointly until Lewis “beat it” today:

  7. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    27th August 2016, 12:11

    Correction: K-Mag isn’t Mercedes’ driver, he’s Renault’s driver.

  8. How did Lewis get 55 places. If I got it right he had only 30 places at the end of FP2. I guess he changed more PU parts in FP3, but the article doesn’t say.

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