Lewis Hamilton sent out a warning shot to his Formula 1 rivals by setting the pace through second practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Friday afternoon.
Hamilton trailed Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in FP1 earlier in the day, but was able to respond with a best time of 1:44.753 to take top spot in the second 90-minute session.
Hamilton turned his lap in on the ultra-soft tire for Mercedes, leaving Raikkonen to settle for second place, 0.262 seconds further back.
Valtteri Bottas took third in the sister Mercedes W08 car, four-tenths back from his teammate, while Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel trailed in P4 and P5 for Red Bull and Ferrari respectively.
Daniel Ricciardo was unable to join the quintet leading the pack, finishing 1.3 seconds down on Hamilton for Red Bull in sixth place after a slow initial run on the ultra-softs.
Nico Hulkenberg followed in P7 for Renault ahead of Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz Jr., while Jolyon Palmer completed the top 10 positions.
The session went by without major incident, with Felipe Massa being the only driver sidelined after a chassis change following his FP1 crash meant he was unable to get out on-track.
A rain shower struck Spa with around 25 minutes remaining in the session, prompting most teams to head back to the pits and call it a day with little to learn by running in the damp conditions.
Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso were the only drivers to brave the elements, but both quickly returned to the pits after one tentative lap, largely spent trying to keep the car in a straight line.
FP3 for the Belgian Grand Prix is live on the NBC Sports app from 5am ET on Saturday, followed by qualifying at 8am ET on CNBC.