Belgian GP Practice Three: Kimi Raikkonen leads Ferrari one-two
Raikkonen continues strong start to weekend to head title contenders Vettel and Hamilton. Bottas behind Verstappen in fifth
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 28/08/17 8:15am
Kimi Raikkonen headed a Ferrari one-two in final practice for the Belgian GP, with Lewis Hamilton third, as F1 2017's leading two teams proved closely-matched ahead of qualifying.
Raikkonen, fresh from the announcement that he will continue as a Ferrari driver into 2018, has proved the Italian team's lead driver so far this weekend and the four-time Spa victor outpaced title-leading team-mate Sebastian Vettel by nearly 0.2s with a best lap of 1:43.916.
Vettel's own contract, a new three-year term, was announced immediately after final practice - meaning the Vettel-Raikkonen partnership will stay in tandem for at least another season.
Third-fastest Hamilton was a mere thousandths of a second slower than Vettel, but the sister Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was over a second adrift as the Finn's more difficult start to the weekend continued.
Ferrari and Mercedes were one second clear of Red Bull, with Max Verstappen again their lead challenger in fourth place.
Renault have looked capable of challenging Force India to be the fourth-fastest team at Spa and Jolyon Palmer, desperate for his first points finish of the season, finished a promising seventh, four places ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
Fernando Alonso also showed promise for McLaren by claiming 10th, although team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne's weekend is already compromised by a hefty grid penalty for engine changes. Honda were forced to revert to the old-spec unit on the Belgian's car ahead of final practice after detecting a problem with the new engine overnight.
Daniil Kvyat ran into mechanical problems on his Toro Rosso with the Russian forced to park on the side of the track with flames emanating from the STR12.
Belgian GP Practice Three Timesheet
|1. Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||1:43.916|
|2. Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+0.197|
|3. Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0.198|
|4. Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+1.118|
|5. Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+1.314|
|6. Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||+1.370|
|7. Jolyon Palmer||Renault||+1.575|
|8. Sergio Perez||Force India||+1.941|
|9. Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||+2.026|
|10. Fernando Alonso||McLaren||+2.144|
|11. Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||+2.148|
|12. Esteban Ocon||Force India||+2.263|
|13. Romain Grosjean||Haas||+2.280|
|14. Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||+2.384|
|15. Lance Stroll||Williams||+2.704|
|16. Felipe Massa||Williams||+2.751|
|17. Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+2.774|
|18. Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||+3.987|
|19. Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber||+4.380|
|20. Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||+4.384|