Lewis Hamilton displayed Mercedes’ strength this afternoon at Spa Francorchamps after setting the fastest time of 1:44.753 in the second practice session, followed by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas.
Early in the session, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo reported drivability problems, so pitted so that the problem could be rectified.
Initially, drivers opted to use a mixture of the soft and super soft tyres, with the majority favouring the latter.
A hairy moment occurred between Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Force India’s Sergio Perez, as the Mexican let Magnussen past, Magnussen appeared to block Perez as the Dane took a wide line through Fagnes. Perez called Magnussen’s move “dirty” over the radio as a response.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean spoke that he felt he was “on ice” over the radio, before setting the slowest lap on the timesheets.
“No power, no power” came the call from Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz over the radio, as the Spaniard struggled around the track.
With half an hour to go in the session, there were calls from the pit wall predicting heavy rain, and soon enough, everyone dashed to the pits to avoid getting trapped on track when the rain began.
As the heavy rain started to fall, the track remained quiet until, unusually, Red Bull sent Ricciardo out on intermediate tyres. However, as predicted, wet tyres would have been more appropriate, as the Australian tentatively drove around the track.
“Ok, so already some aquaplaning,” he spoke, “a lot of water.”
Consequently, he was brought in.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso also made a brief appearance on track, also on intermediates, however, like Ricciardo, soon pitted due to the conditions.