Nico Rosberg narrowly edged out Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to set the pace as Formula One racing returned from its summer break at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday morning.
Rosberg, the championship leader, went fastest early on with 1m 51.577s, a time that Hamilton failed to beat by 0.097s with 1m 51.674s before the pair shifted their focus to race preparations.
Both had early minor moments at the Bus Stop chicane, while the Briton also had to save a big sideways moment as he negotiated the fearsome Eau Rouge. F1 racing’s most famous corner is much more of a challenge this year, with the reduction in downforce.
As usual on a Friday, Alonso got his F14 T close to the silver cars with 1m 51.805s, while Button got going after early delays to take his McLaren round in 1m 52.404s for fourth.