Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Vettel leads Verstappen in first practice at Spa

2018 Belgian Grand Prix first practice

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Sebastian Vettel led the way for Ferrari in the first practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix.

He headed the times with a best lap of 1’44.358 on the soft tyres. Max Verstappen, using the same rubber, was just 0.151 seconds slower.

Daniel Ricciardo in the other Red Bull wasn’t able to set a time until the dying minutes, having been confined to the garage with a technical problem. He took sixth place with his only timed run of the session.

The Mercedes drivers spent much of the session running the medium compound tyres. Lewis Hamilton, who had been quickest in the early running on a set of softs, ended up three-tenths of a second off Vettel. Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas were just a few hundredths of a second slower.

Esteban Ocon led the midfield group in his Force India, followed by Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault. Their team mates completed the top 10.

Red Bull-bound Pierre Gasly ended up a tenth of a second outside the top 10 in his Toro Rosso. Romain Grosjean and the Sauber pair of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson were close behind.

Lance Stroll took 16th for Williams which meant McLaren was the slowest team in the opening session. Test driver Lando Norris racked up 26 laps but Stoffel Vandoorne managed only half that as the team had to remove his car’s floor to investigate a leak.

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Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’44.358 19
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’44.509 0.151 20
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’44.676 0.318 22
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’44.718 0.360 17
5 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’44.724 0.366 25
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’45.558 1.200 4
7 31 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1’45.786 1.428 22
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’45.951 1.593 19
9 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’46.169 1.811 21
10 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Renault 1’46.210 1.852 19
11 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1’46.300 1.942 25
12 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’46.387 2.029 20
13 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 1’46.554 2.196 20
14 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’46.557 2.199 19
15 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Honda 1’46.932 2.574 23
16 18 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’46.965 2.607 25
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’47.012 2.654 21
18 47 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’47.364 3.006 26
19 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams-Mercedes 1’47.367 3.009 23
20 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Renault 1’47.452 3.094 13

First practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’44.358

+0.151 Max Verstappen – 1’44.509

+0.318 Lewis Hamilton – 1’44.676

+0.360 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’44.718

+0.366 Valtteri Bottas – 1’44.724

+1.200 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’45.558

+1.428 Esteban Ocon – 1’45.786

+1.593 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’45.951

+1.811 Sergio Perez – 1’46.169

+1.852 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’46.210

+1.942 Pierre Gasly – 1’46.300

+2.029 Romain Grosjean – 1’46.387

+2.196 Charles Leclerc – 1’46.554

+2.199 Marcus Ericsson – 1’46.557

+2.574 Brendon Hartley – 1’46.932

+2.607 Lance Stroll – 1’46.965

+2.654 Kevin Magnussen – 1’47.012

+3.006 Lando Norris – 1’47.364

+3.009 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’47.367

+3.094 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’47.452

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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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...

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25 comments on “Vettel leads Verstappen in first practice at Spa”

  1. Ferrari leading on a Friday (morning); that’s scary!

    1. @coldfly Why is that? (Sarcasm maybe?) Everyone knows that FP1 times are usually not that much representative of the actual form of the teams. And if the recent events are anything to go by, it was a lot more scary when they started slowly and progressed through the weekend.

      1. @toiago

        And if the recent events are anything to go by, it was a lot more scary when they started slowly and progressed through the weekend.

        Exactly, hopefully this is more of the same but starting from a higher base point :)

      2. (Almost) everybody knows that Ferrari typically ‘sandbags’ on Friday; I don’t recall them leading an FP1 this year, @toiago.

      3. @toiago
        What he probably said was since Ferrari rarely show their hand in P1 this year in particular, they might dominate here.

        1. @sravan-pe I got that. But it’s been such a close season that the chances of that happening are really slim, in my opinion at least.

          1. @toiago I do agree, who knows what Merc have got up their sleeve.

        2. Yes agreed, it could be Ferrari running spec 3 engine on usual mode 5/6, yet still in front at FP1. This is scary… The extra 40hp is real guys, haha.

  2. Oh the irony Ricciardo…

  3. I completely understand why Alonso would choose to sit out this practice session.

    1. Like Trump as POTUS, Alonso has much better things to do than actually drive a car. Like a media spat with Red Bull.

      1. Just let norris try the car this free practice session, got to have some fun with red bull!

  4. Tight top five – but I doubt Mercedes and Ferrari have got out of Engine Mode 1 yet.
    Racing Point Force India best of the rest for the moment, that’s good to see and will be a boost for them.

  5. Anyone here believes that Ricciardo will finish the remaining races? I sense bad mood info RB garage for him.
    Also 1st time ferrari i think is faster in fp1

    1. *in RB not info

    2. @bluechris I wouldn’t be surprised if they do a switch. Gasly to RB and Ricciardo to TR mid-season. It also makes sense I think as they don’t have any future usage for Ricciardo and Gasly could be more competitive next season if he gets some practice under his belt.

      1. I think that’s unlikely. Ricciardo could potentially win even more races for them during the remainder of this year. Gasly with little experience of the car probably wouldn’t be able to capitalize on opportunities as well as Daniel. That’s assuming of course that RBR values race wins more than nurturing their future talent.
        But again stranger things have happened :)

        1. I think they should keep ricciardo in for the season, if they want to show actual improvement over 2017, where they scored 3 wins; this year’s car from the start was clearly better performance wise, another win or 2 wouldn’t hurt to have an overall better season, much better than any of the hybrid era seasons, surely.

      2. That’s not a bad idea at all. But maybe Gasly likes to make mileage with the Honda engine

        1. Pretty sure DR has a contract with RBR to race for them this season and I don’t see why they would buy that out and disrespect him by bussing him down to STR when Gasly could use some continuity and just carry on doing what he has been doing this season so far, in a car he has become familiar with in his rookie season.

          1. Yes, and on second thought.. why let RIC drive a Honda engine.. that engine is none of his business

    3. The mood did seem rather frosty on his side of the garage, but hopefully that’s just because they were having issues all morning. I think he’ll finish the season with them regardless though.

  6. Oh the irony, Ricciardo…

  7. Almost two seconds slower than last season’s pole time.

  8. Practice is what is say’s. How to get your car act as you want to get the fastest times. Engine power on max. How does the car act in the long run sessions and how far can we push it for qualification tomorrow. One can expect Merc/Fer/RB 1 to 6 maybe in a mix. And if nothing happens this will be their positions at the finish.

Comments are closed.