FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium – The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg reasserted their dominance over the Formula One World Championship field during practice Friday for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton recorded the fastest time of the day during the second practice, topping out at 1:49.189 on Pirelli’s soft compound tire. Championship leader Rosberg was second fastest with his best lap of 1:49.793. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso stayed close to the Mercedes duo, timing in at 1:49.930.
Nobody else got close.
Felipe Massa was fourth at 1:50.327, Jenson Button fifth at 1:50.659 and Valtteri Bottas sixth at 1:50.677. Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat was seventh, followed by two-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo in eighth, Kevin Magnussen in ninth and Nico Hulkenberg in tenth.
Rosberg was fastest in the opening practice session of the weekend, topping out at 1:51.577. He was followed by Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Kimi Raikkonen.
Four-time and defending World Champion Sebastian Vettel had yet another bad day for Red Bull Racing. Vettel had problems with the upshift from second to third and third to fourth, and then ended the first practice session in the garage after completing just 11 laps, timing in 11th. His team skipped the second practice in order to replace his engine to fix electrical gremlins.