Lewis Hamilton led the second practice session at Spa-Francorchamps before rain brought an early halt to running.

The Mercedes driver lapped almost two seconds inside the pole position time set by Mercedes last year, though he didn’t set the quickest time in any of the three sectors around the seven kilometre track.

Five drivers were separated by less than half a second when the chequered flag fell, including both of the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers. Kimi Raikkonen, who was quickest in the first session, was a quarter of a second off Hamilton’s pace.

Just five-hundredths of a second covered Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel. Daniel Ricciardo was quickest in the first and third sectors but lost too much time in the middle of the lap running a thinner rear wing on his Red Bull.

Nico Hulkenberg put his Renault in seventh, just two-tenths of a second faster than his under-fire team mate Jolyon Palmer. The two RS17s were separated by Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Williams were unable to get Felipe Massa’s car ready in time for the second session following his crash during first practice, so he was unable to set a time. In a further setback for the team, Lance Stroll is under investigation for re-using one of the tyres which he was only supposed to run during the first 40 minutes of first practice.

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