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Raikkonen fastest by 0.053s in red-flagged Spa FP1 – FP1 Report

Belgian Grand Prix – Four-time winner at Spa Kimi Raikkonen was fastest by 0.053s to championship contender Lewis Hamilton in a red-flagged FP1.

The Finn set his time on the ultrasoft tyre, as did team mate Sebastian Vettel who was 0.145s off in third, whereas the two Mercedes drivers did their fastest lap on the yellow-marked soft tyre – the hardest compound available this weekend.

The session had a red flag in the early stages as Felipe Massa crashed his Williams into the tyre barriers at Malmedy. The damage to the car meant he had to retire from the session with no time set, and will potentially miss the majority of FP2 as a chassis change is required.

The two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth quickest respectively, ahead of Valtteri Bottas who did minor damage to his Mercedes against the tyre barriers at the Fagnes chicane. The Finn was attempting to steer clear of the oncoming traffic when he dipped a wheel on the grass and lost control of the car.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was seventh for Toro Rosso with team mate Daniil Kvyat also inside the top ten, sandwiching Esteban Ocon’s Force India.

Stoffel Vandoorne was tenth for his first F1 session in front of his home crowd. The Belgian, however, will start at the back of the grid as an upgraded power unit hands him a 35-place penalty.

Team mate Fernando Alonso had a frustrating session. The McLaren driver had barely completed a handful of laps before the Spaniard began to complain of a lack of power.

After a troubleshoot in the garage, Alonso’s DRS wasn’t functioning properly when he headed back on track; an issue he had to contend with until the chequered flag.

Kevin Magnussen had a brief scare when his headrest popped up as he left the pit lane following the red flag period. He ended the session 15th ahead of team mate Romain Grosjean.

Pascal Wehrlein sat out most of the session after encountering an ERS issue on the formation lap. He was the slowest runner to set a lap time in the session.

Click here to see the session results.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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