Raikkonen fastest in final Belgian GP practice

Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:51am EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (Reuters) - Kimi Raikkonen set the pace for Ferrari in the final practice session for Sunday’s Belgian Formula One Grand Prix.

The Finn, four-time winner at Spa-Francorchamps, lapped the track in one minute 47.974 seconds on a hot and sweltering morning.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo carried over Red Bull’s strong form from Friday’s practice sessions to take second, 0.215 seconds behind.

Four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel was third, with Ferrari, which struggled in the uncharacteristically hot temperatures on Friday, looking more competitive ahead of qualifying.

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who took on a third fresh power unit ahead of the hour-long session, was fifth.

The Briton is set to start Sunday’s race dead last after being hit with a cumulative 55-place grid penalty and, like Friday, spent most of the session on refining his Mercedes’ long-run pace.

Like team-mate Nico Rosberg, who was seventh, Hamilton went out for a final blast on the fastest super-soft tires in the dying minutes of the session.

Dutchman Max Verstappen, for whom this race is the closest he has to a home event, was only able to drive two laps in front of his legions of orange-clad supporters without setting a time.   Continued...

Belgium Formula One - F1 - Belgian Grand Prix 2016 - Francorchamps, Belgium - 27/8/16 - Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen of Finland during the final practice session. REUTERS/Yves Herman