Raikkonen keeps Ferrari on top in Spa on Friday

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF71H. 24.08.2018. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was fastest of anyone at the end of Friday's two practice sessions for the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

The Finn's best time was 1:43.355s, which was almost exactly a second faster than his team mate Sebastian Vettel had managed in topping the morning session.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was just over a tenth and a half slower than Raikkonen in FP2, with Valtteri Bottas almost three tenths further in arrears putting him just ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Vettel struggled to get a clean fast lap in after lunch, and was only fifth fastest ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull.

Belgian Grand Prix - Free Practice 2 times

1Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:43.355s29
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:43.523s+ 0.168s28
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1:43.803s+ 0.448s29
4Max VerstappenRed Bull1:44.046s+ 0.691s25
5Sebastian VettelFerrari1:44.129s+ 0.774s31
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1:44.250s+ 0.895s31
7Sergio PérezForce India1:44.662s+ 1.307s27
8Carlos SainzRenault1:45.481s+ 2.126s29
9Marcus EricssonSauber1:45.537s+ 2.182s24
10Charles LeclercSauber1:45.622s+ 2.267s25
11Nico HülkenbergRenault1:45.753s+ 2.398s28
12Romain GrosjeanHaas1:45.817s+ 2.462s29
13Esteban OconForce India1:45.935s+ 2.580s24
14Kevin MagnussenHaas1:46.078s+ 2.723s29
15Pierre GaslyToro Rosso1:46.080s+ 2.725s33
16Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:46.153s+ 2.798s28
17Brendon HartleyToro Rosso1:46.337s+ 2.982s35
18Sergey SirotkinWilliams1:46.451s+ 3.096s35
19Lance StrollWilliams1:46.470s+ 3.115s34
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1:46.496s+ 3.141s25

Conditions for the second practice session were much the same as they had been before lunch. Temperatures were slightly higher, and the earlier hint of rain in the air had dispelled.

Having missed out on almost the whole of FP1 with a suspected fuel injection issue, it was no surprise to see Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo among the first drivers to head out when the track went green.

The Australian's first flying lap clocked in at 1:46.161s on soft tyres, but that was soon bettered by Sebastian Vettel. Having been top in the morning, the Ferrari driver picked up where he had left off before the break and went fastest with 1:46.101s despite running on the medium compound.

His team mate Kimi Raikkonen had opted for the softs and so it was no surprise that he was soon able to go quicker than Vettel with a new benchmark of 1:44.400s. However he continued to query the power steering on his SF71H just as he had in the earlier session.

Mercedes were next to get down to business, Valtteri Bottas going second fastest before the medium-shod Lewis Hamilton went top with a time that was just 0.011s off Vettel's morning best. He was quicker still on his next lap before overshooting the Bus Stop and ruining his promising lap time.

After half an hour, the teams pulled the pin on their qualifying simulations. The two Ferraris switched to supersoft tyres and Raikkonen immediately delivered a new top time of 1:43.355s while Vettel was forced to ease off on his own initial run and subsequently locked up at La Source on his second.

Hamilton's first supersoft lap was good enough for second, 0.186s to put him between the two Finns at the top of the timing screens.

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF71H. 24.08.2018. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix

Ricciardo's continued to suffer from mechanical glitches, with his RB14 suffering gear sync issues during the session. That was still fast enough to jump him up to fourth fastest, before being bumped down again by an improved effort from Vettel, and then by an even better lap from his own team mate Max Verstappen.

An excellent lap on supersofts saw Sergio Perez push the resurrected Force India to seventh place. It was almost eighth tenths faster than Renault's Carlos Sainz and the two Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc.

Thereafter, teams switched their focus to long distance runs and tyre wear analysis. Hamilton was one of many drivers to struggle during this phase with frequent lock-ups, reporting that the rears were 'definitely struggling'. Bottas also suffered a big flat spot on the left front tyre in the closing minutes.

A number of drivers also complained of being stuck in traffic, despite Spa-Francorchamps being the longest circuit on the F1 calendar.

McLaren continued to struggle throughout the session on a circuit that doesn't suit the MCL33. Having had a series of issues in FP1, local boy Stoffel Vandoorne told the team than his car was 'undriveable' and he was recalled to the pits for a floor change which sidelined him for half an hour. Even so, he finished the session dead last.

Meanwhile his team mate Fernando Alonso was back in action having sat out the morning in favour of test and development driver Lando Norris. He was able to find enough pace to put him into 16th place, around a third of a second faster than Vandoorne.

However that doesn't bode well for the team making it beyond Q1 in tomorrow's qualifying session - unless rain plays a role in the proceedings, as it is currently forecast to do at least early in the day in final practice.

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter