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Summary

  1. Second half of season starts with Belgian GP
  2. Rosberg edges Hamilton in first practice
  3. Chilton to race as Marussia issues resolved
  4. Mercedes' Rosberg leads championship
  5. Click the Play button or use the 'Live Coverage' tab to watch the event
  6. Coverage starts at 12:55 BST on BBC2

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

OK that is all for our coverage of Friday's practice in what was another Mercedes dominated day. Nico Rosberg topped first practice, with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton going fastest of all in the afternoon.

It is all set up for another intriguing battle between the two. Who will come out on top in tomorrow's qualifying? I'll leave you with Andrew Benson's

second practice report to read and join us again tomorrow morning to find out who will have the edge.

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

"Sebastian Vettel says it is 'inevitable' he will have to take a penalty for using an extra engine this season. 'The question is how many'".

Vettel did not take part in second practice as Red Bull changed his car's power unit.

Interestingly, Nico Rosberg has never qualified in the top three in seven visits to Spa. He has also never finished on the podium, whereas Lewis Hamilton won the race in 2010.

The good news for both drivers, though, is that the last time a Mercedes car failed to finish a Belgian Grand Prix was in 1955.

So what do we take from that second practice session? It is tough to call who has the edge between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg for qualifying tomorrow.

There was very little to separate the two on the long runs, both lapping around 1:54 or 1:55 but Hamilton looked very fast over one lap. It is certainly going to be close.

Lotus have provided an update on Pastor Maldonado, confirming he was taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks and that he is OK.

Belgium Grand Prix
@PedrodelaRosa

Here are the lap times, and laps completed,

courtesy of Pedro de la Rosa. Lewis Hamilton finished over half-a-second quicker than his team-mate, and title rival, Nico Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

A sense of deja vu seeing Lewis Hamilton top second practice? That will be because there have only been two race weekends where he has not finished fastest in Friday practice.

Jennie Gow

BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

Pastor Maldonado
AP

"That was a big crash for Pastor Maldonado. He's been taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure according to team."

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live analyst

"Mercedes are looking very strong but is is going to be Ferrari right behind and a good battle with Williams as well. Daniel Ricciardo needs to have a very good qualifying if he is to be in the mix on Sunday."

Second practice results

1) Hamilton 2) Rosberg 3) Alonso 4) Massa 5) Button 6) Bottas 7) Kvyat 8) Ricciardo 9) Magnussen 10) Hulkenberg

11) Vergne 12) Sutil 13) Perez 14) Grosjean 15) Raikkonen 16) Bianchi 17) Gutierrez 18) Chilton 19) Ericsson 20) Lotterer 21) Maldonado

Vettel did not run in second practice

CHEQUERED FLAG

MERCEDES' LEWIS HAMILTON FINISHES FASTEST IN SECOND PRACTICE FOR THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX.

Ferrari bring Fernando Alonso's session to an end a few seconds before the chequered flag, while Caterham report a technical issue has ended Andre Lotterer's session early. He got a good amount of laps under his belt though. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton looks on course to end this session top of the timesheet...

Sebastian Vettel
BBC

BBC pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "All quiet on Seb's side of the garage during FP2. It never rains for him, it pours."

Valtteri Bottas is lapping in and around 1:56 on the medium tyre and his 13th lap on that compound sees him round in 1:56.513. Williams confirm he and Felipe Massa will finish the session with some practice stops.

Into the last seven minutes of second practice and still the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg lead the way. Fernando Alonso is third fastest, Felipe Massa fourth, Jenson Button fifth and Valtteri Bottas sixth.

Lewis Hamilton, still the pacesetter with 1:49:189, is told over team radio that he is "half a tenth faster" than team-mate Nico Rosberg on his last lap.

That came after Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff gave some interesting insight into the team's thinking after Hamilton's failure to follow team orders in Hungary.

Wolff says the situation "needed a little bit of mediating, management, caressing, hard words", adding: "You cannot expect it to run super-smoothly. You don't expect when your team-mate has one more stop to do that you make his life difficult. On the other hand you cannot ruin one's race by expecting him to lose a couple of hundred metres. It was a matter of the words used not the principle.

"We probably shouldn't have said to Nico that Lewis was going to let him through, we should have said he won't make your life difficult."

A bit of sunshine is peaking through the clouds and it does indeed look as though this session will remain dry. A slightly nervy moment for Nico Hulkenberg as he briefly loses the rear of his Force India through Eau Rouge. He keeps it together though and continues on his way to clocking 1:57.313.

Jennie Gow

BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

"I watched all the cars at Eau Rouge this morning. The plank scrapes across the tarmac and the Marussias and Jenson Button's McLaren were doing that a lot whereas the Mercedes were fine through there."

Sparks flying as Max Chilton takes his Marussia through Eau Rouge while Lewis Hamilton does a practice start at the pit exit.

McLaren
@McLarenF1

McLaren: Kevin Magnussen fires up. Blankets come off and he's out on the Option tyre as well.

Daniel Ricciardo is out on the option tyres but his first effort is not a strong lap as he clocks 1:50.977 - eighth fastest. He lost a little bit with a wobble coming out of Turn Nine.

Mercedes
@MercedesF1

Mercedes: I spy with my #F1 eye, something beginning with soft tyre.. whoops... #SpoiledIt #F1 #BelgianGP #FP2 #SPArksWillFly

With 40 minutes remaining Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Jenson Button. Almost all drivers have made the switch to the soft tyres, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen being two of the few who are still to make the switch.

Romain Grosjean reports over team radio that his Lotus' rear end "is all over the place", no such concerns for Nico Rosberg as he sweeps around the circuit to clock the fastest time of the day with 1:49.793. Lewis Hamilton is having none of that from his Mercedes team-mate though and he embarks on a faultless lap to go even faster with 1:49.189.

Get involved #bbcf1

Rachel Bridge: So exciting to see both McLaren cars putting in fast lap times today. Looking good for Sunday.

BBC pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow has just grabbed a word with Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko, and asks about the decision to choose 16-year-old Max Verstappen for Toro Rosso next season.

"We watched him for a while and had discussion for a while," he said. "Going from go-karts straight away into F3 and being immediately competitive was one thing but then there were some races, like Norisring when it was completely wet and he was something like two seconds faster than anyone else.

"That was something completely impressive and we decided we had to get him. He is young in age but he has been racing since four years old so he is very experienced. We expect an exciting year with him and Daniil Kvyat and I think we will see a similar performance, where he is immediately competitive."

McLaren pair Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button have changed boots, strapping on the soft tyres and Magnussen goes quickest with 1:51.074, only to be knocked off by his team-mate soon after as the Briton clocks 1:50.659.

Sauber: Esteban spun and could not drive the car back into the garage, team will investigate.

GO! GO! GO!

We are up and running again with 53 minutes left on the clock.

As we wait for the session to get back under way, Jos Verstappen spoke to the BBC about his son Max who, at 17, will become the youngest Formula 1 driver in history when he makes his debut next season.

Jos, 42, drove over 100 Formula 1 races, making the podium twice, and he believes his son has the potential to be "a lot better" than him.

"He is complete. He can keep his head cool in certain circumstances," Verstappen Sr said. "People grow up faster [these days], the world is moving quicker and that is why I think it is possible [for him to race at his age]."

Esteban Guttierez is currently strolling along a quite scenic path, lined by tall trees, at the edge of the circuit as he makes his way back to the Sauber garage. The recovery truck is on the scene to take away Gutierrez's car.

RED FLAG

The red flag is waved for the second time in this session as Esteban Gutierrez is stationery at Blanchimont, his Sauber pointing the wrong way.

"Can you get back to the garage," Guttierez is asked over the radio. "It is the gear box. Something break completely," is the reply.

Fernando Alonso clocks 1:51.693 to go fastest but Lewis Hamilton soon regains FP1 as he shaves half-a-second off Alonso's best.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull's sole representative for second practice with Sebastian Vettel twiddling his thumbs in the team garage as the power unit on his car is changed, runs off the circuit but is back on with no major fuss.

Mercedes: First flyers complete - Nico Rosberg heads for the top, only to be toppled immediately by Lewis Hamilton! Less than a tenth in it!

Lewis Hamilton
Reuters

Personal bests in sectors one and three sees Jenson Button go fastest with 1:52.285. He is soon sent tumbling down the timesheet as Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa all go faster. Hamilton's 1:51.989 is the benchmark time at the moment.

Get involved #bbcf1

Edson Charikinya: Maldonado seems prone to accidents, how many times has he crashed during practice this year?

James Brandon: 'Practice stopped as Pastor Maldonado crashes' Pretty sure this is a pre-cursor to every weekend.

GO! GO! GO!

Pastor Maldonado's stricken Lotus has been loaded up and lifted away and the remnants from his crash removed from the circuit. Second practice is back under way.

It is not immediately clear what caused the crash, although Allan McNish speculates he may have been distracted when looking at his steering wheel buttons.

BBC weather reporter Ian Fergusson: "FP2 1310 BST Despite ominous skies, nearest light showers currently missing circuit with none immediately threatening."

Three timed laps had been set before the red flag stoppage, with Kevin Magnussen leading the way with 1:52.677, ahead of Jules Bianchi (1:54.509) and Andre Lotterer (1:56.720).

Max Chilton has also been out on the circuit. Issues with Marussia prevented him from running in the first session, but they have now been resolved.

RED FLAG

The session is red flagged as Pastor Maldonado loses control of his car on the way down to Pouhon and hits the barriers. He is quickly on team radio to report he is OK though.