Daniel Ricciardo ended the opening day’s running at the Belgian Grand Prix second fastest behind Max Verstappen.
The Australian was less than a half tenth off the outright pace in a session that saw the top three covered by 0.096s.
However, his day came to an early end after a hydraulics problem in the final moments of Free Practice 2 saw him park his Renault on the Kemmel Straight.
Third best was Lewis Hamilton, though a mistake at the Chicane suggests he’s time in hand over those ahead.
Alex Albon was fourth best in the second Red Bull from Sergio Perez in the lead Racing Point.
Less than a second covered the fastest 11 runners, Lance Stroll 0.934s off Verstappen’s session topping time.
Ferrari languished in 15th and 17th with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel respectively, while issues in Free Practice 1 carried over into the session for both Haas drivers.
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen chalked up just a dozen laps each as they propped up the foot of the timing sheets.
Still, it was an improvement from earlier in the day when the team logged a combined three laps with engine problems impacting both cars.
Antonio Giovinazzi also suffered dramas and only managed two installation laps in the opening session, logging 29 laps in Practice 2.
The two Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton had topped the day’s first session, narrowly clear of Verstappen.
Perez and Stroll were next best for Racing Point, then Albon and Esteban Ocon.
Ricciardo finished the session with the ninth best time, 0.7s down on Bottas, meaning he found 1.5 seconds between the two sessions.
Like they did in the latter session, both Ferraris struggled as they found themselves just 14th (Leclerc) and 15th (Vettel) and more than a second off the pace.
With Alfa Romeo and Haas both using customer Ferrari engines, and also seemingly struggling, it paints a bleak picture for the Scuderia as the weekend progresses.
Long range forecasts had predicted rain on Saturday for qualifying, though the chances of that have diminished as the weekend approached.
However, a weather affected race on Sunday remains a possibility with a 50 percent chance of rain expected shortly after the scheduled race start, increasing into the evening.
A single 60 minute practice session on Saturday remains before qualifying gets underway at 23:00 AEST.
Result: Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:43.744||21|
|4||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||+0.390s||21|
|5||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||+0.393s||23|
|7||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Renault||+0.424s||22|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz||Mclaren Renault||+0.730s||23|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||+0.856s||27|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||+0.934s||23|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri Honda||+1.082s||26|
|13||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||+1.117s||29|
|14||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||+1.152s||23|
|16||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||+1.719s||25|
|18||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||+2.030s||26|
|19||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||+2.090s||12|
|20||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||+2.498s||12|
Result: Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, Free Practice 1
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||+0.081s||20|
|4||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||+0.136s||22|
|5||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||+0.375s||22|
|6||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||+0.556s||22|
|8||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||+0.729s||24|
|10||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||+0.781s||28|
|11||26||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri Honda||+0.954s||25|
|12||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||+1.010s||17|
|13||7||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||+1.211s||19|
|16||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||+1.995s||19|
|17||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||+2.077s||21|
|18||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1|
|19||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||2|
|20||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||2|