Lewis Hamilton has finished the final practice session ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix fastest, half a second quicker than yesterday’s pacesetter Nico Rosberg. Sebastian Vettel was half a second behind Rosberg in third.

Rosberg was the first driver to set a time at the top of the timesheets, registering a 1:51.737, which was soon beaten by Nico Hülkenberg in the Force India. Hamilton took time in getting the setup in his car right, then took up his place on the top of the leader board with a 1:50.635.

Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso opted for a different strategy as opposed to the rest of the field, making the switch to the soft compound tyre after 20 minutes of running on the hard compound. Daniel Ricciardo jumped to the top of the table registering a 1:49.930 and was soon joined by Max Verstappen posting a 1:50.599. Daniil Kvyat then slotted his RB11 into second position, just half a tenth off Ricciardo’s best.

These times would remain throughout the session as the three drivers carried out a long run simulation on the soft compound tyre in preparation for tomorrow’s race. Ricciardo ended up completing the most laps with 17 while Verstappen spent 15 laps on the softer compound.

Despite being a good 4-5kmph slower in the speed trap, Red Bull managed to keep their cars inside the top 10, with Ricciardo in sixth and Kvyat just behind in seventh.

Ferrari continued to impress as Vettel posted the third quickest time, a 1:50.460 on the hard compound tyre. Once he moved on to the soft compound his time dropped to a 1:49.629 which was two-tenths quicker than his team-mate Kimi Räikkönen in fourth.

With 13 minutes left to run in the session, the Mercedes pair made the switch to the soft compound tyre and quickly returned to the top of the table. Rosberg was the first to post his fastest lap, although it wasn’t as clean as he would have liked as he was forced to downshift through Pouhon, costing him a small amount of time. Hamilton capitalised on Rosberg’s mistake to post the fastest lap of the session and to put himself in prime position to take pole.

Force India had a positive session, finishing ahead of Williams to be the second fastest Mercedes-powered team. Sergio Pérez was 0.8 seconds off Hamilton’s pace in fifth position, while Hülkenberg ended the session in eighth ahead of the Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

Saturday’s qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps begins at 14:00 local time (GMT +2).


2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:48.984 15
2. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:49.482 + 0.498 19
3. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:49.629 + 0.645 17
4. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:49.864 + 0.880 19
5. Sergio Pérez mx Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:49.866 + 0.882 15
6. Daniel Ricciardo au Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:49.930 + 0.946 20
7. Daniil Kvyat ru Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:49.980 + 0.996 19
8. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:50.000 + 1.016 15
9. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:50.179 + 1.195 15
10. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:50.447 + 1.463 15
11. Carlos Sainz es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:50.552 + 1.568 20
12. Pastor Maldonado ve Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:50.585 + 1.601 17
13. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:50.599 + 1.615 21
14. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:50.690 + 1.706 17
15. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:51.054 + 2.070 20
16. Romain Grosjean fr Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:51.187 + 2.203 18
17. Jenson Button uk McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:51.981 + 2.997 12
18. Will Stevens uk Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:54.262 + 5.278 16
19. Roberto Merhi es Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:54.281 + 5.297 9
20. Fernando Alonso es McLaren Honda MP4-30 no time 1

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

The following two tabs change content below.

Josh Kruse

Latest posts by Josh Kruse (see all)

Share