Raikkonen tops 1st practice for Belgian GP, Hamilton finishes 2nd

Raikkonen tops 1st practice for Belgian GP, Hamilton finishes 2nd”

Vettel, who has just signed a new three-year contract with Ferrari, is now at the top of the Driver Standings with 202 points, followed by rival Hamilton, who is on 188.

The news makes it incredibly likely that the top three teams - Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull - will retain the same driver line-ups for next year, with only Valtteri Bottas' future at Mercedes yet to be confirmed.

Spa-Francorchamps: A disappointed Sebastian Vettel blamed himself on Friday after struggling to match Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and trailing in fifth in practice for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

Three times Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton claims that title contender rival Sebastian Vettel does not prefer to be his team mate.

After qualifying second behind team-mate Raikkonen, Vettel's superior strategy saw him take the lead midway through the race and hold on for his third win of the season.

Hamilton - a victor of this race in 2010 and 2015 - topped the timesheets in Friday's rain-hit second practice session with Vettel down in fifth, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff expects his outfit to face stiff competition when the main action gets under way.

"We work very well together, as does the whole team", he said.

"It wasn't planned. I saw some other teams playing around with tows, previously in qualifying, but usually it is one of those things that you can't plan, so you tend to stay away from it". I didn't really find the rhythm today but the long run was better.

"I'm here to deliver a very special message from Corinna Schumacher and the Schumacher family, who want to congratulate you on equalling Michael's record", said Brawn.

Vettel could only manage fifth in the second session while Britain's Jolyon Palmer also showed better pace after a hard first half to the season in 10th place.

While he is yet to hit those heights with Ferrari, we look back at a selection of his top moments with the iconic Italian squad.

The 30-year-old had said only on Thursday that news of his whereabouts for next season and beyond would not be announced within the next fortnight.

While Kimi Raikkonen's new contract was revealed prior to the race weekend at Spa, there were some doubts surrounding Vettel's renewal. I think the whole generation of the Ferrari team today wants to leave their own footsteps but certainly there's a huge inspirations.

"The last race is one of the best examples of how great the team is now", Hamilton added.

Bottas joined late previous year as an emergency replacement for Nico Rosberg, after the German driver stunned F1 by retiring days after beating Hamilton to the title. He told the official F1 website: "It was the best second place I have ever had!"

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