Kimi Räikkonen led a Ferrari one-two in final practice for the Belgian Grand Pric, beating team-mate Sebastian Vettel by just under two tenths of a second. Vettel, though, was just one thousandth of a second clear of third-placed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.
A relatively low key first half of the session saw Räikkönen lead the way on supersoft tyres with a time of 1:45.422. That put ahead of Vettel with Hamilton third.
Shortly after the half hour mark, driver began to make the switch to ultrasofts for their qualifying runs, with Daniel Ricciardo one of the first to make a move. His flying lap was delayed, however, when Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso ground to a halt halfway down the Kemmel Straight, with the Russian reporting a sudden loss of power.
Ricciardo’s next tour put him on first place on the timesheet but his lap was only 0.136 clear of Räikkönen’s supersoft time from the first half of the session. Verstappen then advanced past Ricciardo, though only by a further two tenths.
The Finn’s advantage at Spa, a circuit on which he was won four times, was confirmed moments later when his ultrasoft lap yielded a time of 1:43.916, a full 1.1 seconds ahead of the Dutchman.
Räikkönen’s lap was the fastest lap ever on the current circuit configuration circuit and beat the previous benchmark of 1:44.503 set Toyota driver Jarno Trulli during second qualifying in 2009.
Vettel was next to make a move and he duly slotted into second place with a lap of 1:44.113, 0.197 down on Räikkönen.
Hamilton got closest to the Ferraris, only losing out to Vettel by the tiniest of margins – the two title rivals being separated by just 0.001s.
Hamilton’s team-mate Valtetri Bottas was less assured it seemed and the Finn finished in fifth place, between the two Red Bulls with an ultrasoft time of 1:45.230, over a second adrift of his team-mate.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer set good pace to finish in seventh place, just two tenths off Ricciardo and more than half a second clear of 11th-placed teammate Hulkenberg.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was eighth, with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso completing the top 10 order.
2017 Belgian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 17 1:43.916
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 15 1:44.113 0.197
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 11 1:44.114 0.198
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 13 1:45.034 1.118
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 18 1:45.230 1.314
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 18 1:45.286 1.370
7 Jolyon Palmer Renault 11 1:45.491 1.575
8 Sergio Perez Force India 14 1:45.857 1.941
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 18 1:45.942 2.026
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren 12 1:46.060 2.144
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 11 1:46.064 2.148
12 Esteban Ocon Force India 14 1:46.179 2.263
13 Romain Grosjean Haas 14 1:46.196 2.280
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 14 1:46.300 2.384
15 Lance Stroll Williams 18 1:46.620 2.704
16 Felipe Massa Williams 22 1:46.667 2.751
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 13 1:46.690 2.774
18 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 7 1:47.903 3.987
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 17 1:48.296 4.380
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 6 1:48.300 4.384