Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

Raikkonen leads first session as Massa crashes

2017 Belgian Grand Prix first practice

Posted on

| Written by

Fresh from signing a new Ferrari contract Kimi Raikkonen set the quickest time in the first practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, eight-tenths quicker than last year’s pole position lap.

Raikkonen took over the top spot with four minutes remaining to produce a best time of 1’45.502 using the ultra-soft tyres. Despite not setting the quickest time in any of the three sectors, Raikkonen beat Lewis Hamilton’s previous benchmark by five-hundredths of a second. Hamilton, however, had set his quickest time on the harder soft compound tyres.

Felipe Massa, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017
Belgian Grand Prix practice in pictures
Both Ferraris appeared inside the top three as Sebastian Vettel lapped within a tenth of a second of Hamilton.

They were followed by the two Red Bulls, Max Verstappen exactly eight-tenths of a second off Raikkonen pace on the same tyres. Daniel Ricciardo was fractionally slower, but was also warned about cutting the corner at Raidillon.

Valtteri Bottas was next, the Mercedes drivers’ session being curtailed after a minor off at the exit of Fagnes. The W08 made contact with the barrier on the right-hand side and had to come in for repairs.

Both Toro Rossos appeared inside the top ten despite Daniil Kvyat suffering a persistent engine glitch. Esteban Ocon separated him from team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr. Stoffel Vandoorne, running an updated Honda power unit, put his McLaren inside the top ten, while Fernando Alonso was delayed by engine and DRS problems.

The session was red-flagged early on when Felipe Massa crashed at the exit of Les Combes. The Williams driver ran wide after taking too much of the inside car and damaged the left-hand side of his car against the barrier.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
17Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’45.50213
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’45.5550.05319
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1’45.6470.14513
433Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’46.3020.80018
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’46.3520.85022
677Valtteri BottasMercedes1’46.4240.92220
755Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’47.4461.94422
831Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’47.6702.16827
926Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’47.8512.34920
102Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’47.8652.36318
1130Jolyon PalmerRenault1’47.9302.42814
1227Nico HulkenbergRenault1’48.0372.53515
1314Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’48.2522.75018
1411Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’48.4522.95019
1518Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’48.5413.03924
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’48.6153.11320
178Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’48.6263.12420
189Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’50.1604.65821
1994Pascal WehrleinSauber-Ferrari1’51.2635.76113

First practice visual gaps

Kimi Raikkonen – 1’45.502

+0.053 Lewis Hamilton – 1’45.555

+0.145 Sebastian Vettel – 1’45.647

+0.800 Max Verstappen – 1’46.302

+0.850 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’46.352

+0.922 Valtteri Bottas – 1’46.424

+1.944 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’47.446

+2.168 Esteban Ocon – 1’47.670

+2.349 Daniil Kvyat – 1’47.851

+2.363 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’47.865

+2.428 Jolyon Palmer – 1’47.930

+2.535 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’48.037

+2.750 Fernando Alonso – 1’48.252

+2.950 Sergio Perez – 1’48.452

+3.039 Lance Stroll – 1’48.541

+3.113 Kevin Magnussen – 1’48.615

+3.124 Romain Grosjean – 1’48.626

+4.658 Marcus Ericsson – 1’50.160

+5.761 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’51.263

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Best times by tyre

DriverTeamBest ultra-soft timeUltra-soft gapBest super-soft timeSuper-soft gapBest soft timeSoft gap
Lewis HamiltonMercedesNone1’46.4391’45.555
Valtteri BottasMercedesNone1’46.9030.4641’46.4240.869
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’46.3520.85NoneNone
Max VerstappenRed Bull1’46.3020.8NoneNone
Sebastian VettelFerrari1’45.6470.145None1’47.8562.301
Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’45.5021’46.9310.492None
Sergio PerezForce IndiaNone1’48.7662.3271’48.4522.897
Esteban OconForce IndiaNone1’48.3511.9121’47.6702.115
Felipe MassaWilliamsNone5’19.096212.657None
Lance StrollWilliamsNone1’49.1722.7335’44.096238.541
Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’48.2522.75NoneNone
Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1’47.8652.363NoneNone
Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso1’47.4461.944None1’48.7043.149
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1’47.8512.349None1’49.5604.005
Romain GrosjeanHaasNone1’48.6262.1871’50.0214.466
Kevin MagnussenHaasNone1’48.6152.1761’49.4963.941
Nico HulkenbergRenault1’48.0372.535None1’49.4003.845
Jolyon PalmerRenault1’47.9302.428None1’51.0345.479
Marcus EricssonSauberNone1’50.1603.721None
Pascal WehrleinSauberNone1’51.2634.824None

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

32 comments on “Raikkonen leads first session as Massa crashes”

  1. If Massa is still unwell as some sources say does that mean we could see Di Resta in action again?

    1. Definetely no.He just took too much kerb & speed & thats it.

    2. Yes, if he is again unwell.

  2. I dont know if its an coincedence,but every time Massa runs with a special design,he crashes at some point(Monaco & Brazil 2016)

    1. Did he crash in Brazil 06 with that special race suit? Could have sworn he won the race. But yes, you are correct for recent events

      1. I should have said in the Williams years to be accurate!My bad

  3. Hamilton looks in a class of his own. What a lap!

  4. I missed the first hour of practise. Saw a replay of Bottas’ incident, it was a weird one. But how on earth did he manage to get it out of the graveltrap and bring it back to the pits? To me it looked like it was well and truly stuck in the gravel like tends to happen.

    1. @retardedf1sh Usually where there are gravel traps, there are grass verges in front of the barriers which if the cars reach, they can use to allow them to get back onto the race track.

  5. Hamilton, however, had set his quickest time on the harder soft compound tyres.

    The harder soft or the harder super soft tyre? The names of the compounds are not only ridiculous, but also confusing.

    1. he set his best on Softs (yellow band)

      1. @njoydesign Interesting, thanks. That can mean three things. 1. Vettel wasn’t pushing, 2. Hamilton/Mercedes are much faster or 3. The ultrasofts are not faster. Any views on that?

        1. @matthijs too early to make any conclusions)) In FP2 Lewis shaved off 8/10s going with US, so it seems they found the right balance. Will be interesting. Mercs are faster in S1 and S3, Ferrari gain in twisty S2. And frankly, Sebastian looks a bit off the pace at the moment.

    2. @matthijs I don’t see what’s confusing. If I’d meant ‘super soft’ I’d’ve written ‘super soft’.

  6. I am actually mildly optimistic about Ferrari for this race. This season they always run heavy in FP1, and many times we have seen them trailing the Mercs by a wide margin in practice sessions, before bouncing back in qualifying. Every time Ferrari show good pace in FP1 and FP2, it translates into a pretty good race pace and qualifying performance. If Mercedes’ tyre wear issues on US don’t go away, we might see a very entertaining qualifying. I still expect Ham to take pole at the moment, but I also expect one of the Ferraris to be alongside him on the grid.

    Also, is this true that Mercedes were running new spec engine in FP1? If that is the case, then it would make sense for them to push more than usual in FP1 to get more relevant data about the engine’s improvement.

    1. Forgot to mention, the pace of the RedBulls is rather disappointing. I read that Renault were bringing updates to the engine for this and the next race, and from the gap it seems the performance gains are not effective enough. Were they running those updates in this session I wonder? What I am afraid of is Verstappen doing his super start again and destroying the genuine fight for the win, as he has done a couple of times this season already.

      1. So let’s run only 4 cars, because they are the only ones that matter? Because that is what you implying.

        1. @dennis65 No, this is not what I imply. What I imply is that RedBull need to have a faster car. But the reality of the situation is that Mercs and Ferraris are way ahead of everyone’s else right this moment, and I would really like to see a straight fight for the win without overopportunistic moves or technical issues robbing us of it.

          1. Ok, then let’s have Mercedes and Ferrari start and half a minute later the rest.

          2. @dennis65 Everyone keeping a cool head and respecting each other at the start would suffice. In any case, RedBulls are showing a much better pace now in FP2, so maybe we will see a proper 3-team battle throughout the race.

            By the way, you might want to tone your sarcasm down. We all are just spectators without any influence on what happens on the track, just commenting on what we see; there is no need for such knee-jerk flaming responses. I’m not here to pick a fight. Peace.

        2. Wow @dennis65 is everything ok? Are you not having a good day or something coz gees the lingo is rather unnecessary.

  7. Sorting of the table with tyre times isn’t working @keithcollantine, lots of errors when looking Chrome’s developer console.

    1. @tonyyeb Apologies, finger trouble by me, should be fixed now.

    2. @tonyyeb
      I’d like to add that I find this table hard to read. Maybe it’s just a type of data that needs a visualisation to lend itself to a more intuitive interpretation.
      I have no idea how complicated the implementation would be, but I think a line chart would be perfect:
      – drivers on the x-axis, sorted by best lap time per tyre compound (relevant compound to be selected in a drop-down list)
      – lap times on the y-axis, colour-coded according to the compound
      – dotted horizontal lines representing the best lap times per compound

      1. Can I just check, you do know you can just click on each heading to sort the column beneath it?

        1. @keithcollantine
          Yes, I do. And I really appreciate that you’re making these tables available to us. But as I said, I think that this kind of data is a tad too complex to grasp its essence in a glance. My intention was definitely not to badmouth this table, but to make a suggestion how these data could be presented in an even more accessible way.
          Whether that’d be an improvement, and if so, whether it’d be worth it, is a different matter, of course.

  8. Mercedes and Ferrari are in a league of their own at Spa. Red bulls are nearly a second behind them and the rest of the midfield are nearly 2 seconds down.
    Have a feeling that Hamilton’s going to put it on pole, but have a hard time keeping the Ferraris on Sunday.

    Should be an interesting battle in the midfield as well. Force india, haas and toro rosso followed by Renault and the sluggish looking Mclaren Honda

    1. It is practise 1 for goodness sake

  9. Ocon’s time was also set on the soft tyre. On paper that makes FI best of the rest

  10. Mercedes looking strong especially, with LH. The pace on the soft tyres is good. Down the grid, its good to see McLaren, Torro Rosso and Renault closely packed. Sad to see Williams at the bottom of the grid.

  11. One of the best ones. A lot of drivers had their ‘moments’ but to perform at such a high level for all these years is a unique quality:)

Comments are closed.