McLaren junior Nyck de Vries continued his resurgent form by ending George Russell’s spell of three topped Formula 2 practice sessions in a row at Spa.
De Vries – who fought back and passed Lando Norris for victory in the Budapest feature race last time out – set his best time early on.
With the track not yet rubbered-in and only one previous session on the track, drivers scrambled for grip in the Ardennes mountains as oversteer afflicted most of the field.
None of the frontrunners improved on their later laps with all the top laps coming on the first run.
Hungary pole-sitter Sergio Sette Camara was just 0.010s down on De Vries’s 1m58.125s, with Mercedes junior Russell third quickest and four tenths adrift.
Norris had just 25 minutes to change his overalls, helmet and gloves after making his McLaren free practice debut in F1.
After beating Stoffel Vandoorne in the McLaren, he took fourth in the F2 session ahead of Ralph Boschung of MP Motorsport, albeit behind his Carlin teammate Sette Camara this time.
Italian drivers took the next two spots, with Luca Ghiotto (Campos) and Charouz Racing System’s Antonio Fuoco both seven tenths off the leader.
Alexander Albon placed eighth for DAMS, while Arden’s Maxi Gunther and Russell’s ART Grand Prix teammate Jack Aitken rounded out the top 10.
Last year’s feature race winner – albeit only after Charles Leclerc and Oliver Rowland were disqualified – Artem Markelov managed 11th.
The only newcomer in the field – GP3 graduate Dorian Boccolacci – took 15th in his first session with MP Motorsport.
|1||4||Nyck de Vries||Prema Powerteam||13||1'58.125|
|2||18||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||16||1'58.135||0.010|
|3||8||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||17||1'58.600||0.475|
|5||10||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||15||1'58.794||0.669|
|6||14||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Racing||17||1'58.840||0.715|
|7||21||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||16||1'58.873||0.748|
|9||11||Maximilian Günther||Arden International||16||1'59.147||1.022|
|10||7||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||17||1'59.186||1.061|
|11||1||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||15||1'59.241||1.116|
|13||20||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||16||1'59.448||1.323|
|14||3||Sean Gelael||Prema Powerteam||15||1'59.458||1.333|
|15||9||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||15||1'59.490||1.365|
|17||12||Nirei Fukuzumi||Arden International||15||1'59.757||1.632|
|18||2||Tadasuke Makino||RUSSIAN TIME||13||2'00.360||2.235|
|20||15||Roy Nissany||Campos Racing||15||2'00.816||2.691|
Haas to keep Ferrucci in young driver programme
Spa F2: De Vries takes dominant maiden pole