Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton headed a disrupted F1 Belgian GP FP3 from Renault’s Esteban Ocon and McLaren’s Lando Norris.
The FP3 in F1 Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps was a mixed bag with rain and sunshine throughout the one hour session as it disrupted a full blown running, leaving them with one final push towards the end of the session like a Q3 run with 19 cars on track.
The only missing was Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who had his car already on the stands. It was mayhem with the traffic as multiple drivers faced difficulties in getting the lap in but Mercedes’ Hamilton managed it well to top with a 1m43.255s laptime.
Renault’s Ocon slotted in second with a 1m43.485s as McLaren’s Norris (1m43.641s) was third ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Alexander Albon (1m43.731s) and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (1m43.813s), with the Finn having a mighty drift on his first final quick lap.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (1m43.896s) ended up sixth with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m43.973s) seventh, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll (1m43.988s) eighth, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz (1m44.006s) ninth and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez (1m44.180s) in the Top 10.
The two AlphaTauri cars of Pierre Gasly (1m44.508s) and Daniil Kvyat (1m44.543s) were 11th and 12th respectively as Williams’ Nicholas Latifi (1m44.771s) found himself in 13th from Magnussen (1m44.841s), whose initial laptime was enough for a Top 15 position.
In fact, Magnussen was the leading Ferrari car as well, with teammate Romain Grosjean (1m44.844s) 15th, Alfa Romeo Racing’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m44.932s) 16th and the first factory car of Charles Leclerc (1m45.147s) in 17th.
The Finn had multiple of his laptimes deleted for track limits. The standings was rounded out by Williams’ George Russell (1m45.157s) in 18th, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi (1m45.190s) 19th and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel (1m45.20s) 20th.
Meanwhile, an undue controversy was averted by Norris when he decided not to use a special helmet for F1 Belgian GP, to showcase his roots in the country, especially from his mother’s side. He had prepped up a helmet using the Flemish flag.
It was set on a yellow background and carried a Flemish lion where he also added a photo of his maternal grandparents. However, he reverted to his usual 2020 helmet after social media raised concerns due to the political message it could have sent.
It was said that the lion was similar to what the Belgium’s far-right political members use as a symbol, which would have linked Norris to their message. The Brit quickly changed back to his usual helmet, which he wore all of Friday.
On Thursday, Norris talked about his Belgium roots: “I’m 50% from the UK, 50% from Belgium. We used to come here all the time for Christmas and Easter and many occasions. Everyone from my mum’s side lives out here and has come to all of the races that I’ve done in Belgium since karting.
“So I see it completely as a home race. The only reason I would say Silverstone or the GB race is more of a home race is just because that’s where I’ve grown up.” Here’s a photo shared by a fan on Twitter of the helmet he was to use:
— icilio F1 (@silvaradkeF1) August 28, 2020
Here’s what they said after Friday of F1 Belgian GP