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F1: Mercedes AMG sets the pace in Belgium

Mercedes AMG set the pace Friday as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton shared the best time in the first two practice sessions of the Grand Prix of Belgium at Spa-Francorchamps.

The German team picked up where they left off in opening practice at the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday morning, with Nico Rosberg fastest ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

2014 Grand Prix F1 Belgium
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (Photo: WRI2)

Rosberg, the current point standings’ leader, lapped the 7.004km Spa-Francorchamps circuit in a time of 1m51.577.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third quickest (a surprise on this low downforce, high power engine circuit), ahead of Jenson Button of McLaren and Kimi Raikkonen whose Ferrari suffered an overheating ERS system.

Second practice session

After the lunch break, Hamilton set a dominant pace, beating Rosberg by half a second.

Alonso was again third quickest, but almost a full second behind Hamilton.

2014 Grand Prix F1 Belgium
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari Photo: WRI2)

The Mercedes-powered Williams began to show their hand with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas sandwiching McLaren’s Jenson Button in fourth and sixth places respectively.

Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing), Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) and Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) completed the top 10.

Sebastian Vettel missed the entire session due to an electrical issue in practice 1, which caused damage to his RB10's Renault engine.

2014 Grand Prix F1 Belgium
Jenson Button, McLaren (Photo: WRI2)

In other news, Pastro Maldonado crashed his Lotus E22 after running wide on the entry to Pouhon.

Rookie Andre Lotterer made an impression at Caterham, lapping within half a tenth of the team’s regular race driver Marcus Ericsson.

2014 Belgian Grand Prix, free practice 1*:
1 - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes W05) - 1m51.577 - 25 laps
2 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W05) - 1m51.674 - 24
3 - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari F14 T) - 1m51.805 - 16
4 - Jenson Button (McLaren MP4-29-Mercedes) - 1m52.404 - 21
5 - Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari F14 T) - 1m52.818 - 17
6 - Sergio Perez (Force India VJM07-Mercedes) - 1m52.903 - 24
7 - Kevin Magnussen (McLaren MP4-29-Mercedes) - 1m52.922 - 23
8 - Nico Hulkenberg (Force India VJM07-Mercedes) - 1m52.937 - 22
9 - Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull RB10-Renault) - 1m52.972 - 19
10 - Valtteri Bottas (Williams FW36-Mercedes) - 1m53.172 - 20
11 - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB10-Renault) - 1m53.369 - 11
12 - Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso STR9-Renault) - 1m53.594 - 21
13 - Romain Grosjean (Lotus E22-Renault) - 1m53.597 - 20
14 - Adrian Sutil (Sauber C33-Ferrari) - 1m53.703 - 14
15 - Felipe Massa (Williams FW36-Mercedes) - 1m53.968 - 20
16 - Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso STR9-Renault) - 1m54.189 - 20
17 - Giedo Van der Garde (Sauber C33-Ferrari) - 1m54.335 - 16
18 - Pastor Maldonado (Lotus E22-Renault) - 1m55.336 - 21
19 - Jules Bianchi (Marussia MR03-Ferrari) - 1m55.782 - 19
20 - Alexander Rossi (Marussia MR03-Ferrari) - 1m57.232 - 20
21 - Andre Lotterer (Caterham CT05-Renault) - 1m57.886 - 24
22 - Marcus Ericsson (Caterham CT05-Renault) - 1m57.977 – 24

2014 Grand Prix F1 Belgium
Andre Lotterer, Caterham (Photo: WRI2)

2014 Belgian Grand Prix, free practice 2*:

1 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W05) - 1m49.189 - 26 laps
2 - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes W05) - 1m49.793 - 28
3 - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari F14 T) - 1m49.930 - 19
4 - Felipe Massa (Williams FW36-Mercedes) - 1m50.327 - 24
5 - Jenson Button (McLaren MP4-29-Mercedes) - 1m50.659 - 31
6 - Valtteri Bottas (Williams FW36-Mercedes) - 1m50.677 - 26
7 - Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso STR9-Renault) - 1m50.725 - 25
8 - Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull RB10-Renault) - 1m50.977 - 16
9 - Kevin Magnussen (McLaren MP4-29-Mercedes) - 1m51.074 - 31
10 - Nico Hulkenberg (Force India VJM07-Mercedes) - 1m51.077 - 26
11 - Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso STR9-Renault) - 1m51.383 - 26
12 - Adrian Sutil (Sauber C33-Ferrari) - 1m51.450 - 29
13 - Sergio Perez (Force India VJM07-Mercedes) - 1m51.573 - 28
14 - Romain Grosjean (Lotus E22-Renault) - 1m52.196 - 25
15 - Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari F14 T) - 1m52.234 - 18
16 - Jules Bianchi (Marussia MR03-Ferrari) - 1m52.776 - 23
17 - Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber C33-Ferrari) - 1m53.955 - 7
18 - Max Chilton (Marussia MR03-Ferrari) - 1m54.040 - 18
19 - Marcus Ericsson (Caterham CT05-Renault) - 1m54.050 - 30
20 - Andre Lotterer (Caterham CT05-Renault) - 1m54.093 - 24
21 - Pastor Maldonado (Lotus E22-Renault) - no time - 2
22 - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB10-Renault) - no time - 0
*Unofficial timing