Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Ferrari (8/13FAV – Fastest Qualifier Team – Belgium Grand Prix) could be the team to catch on Sunday after the Scuderia topped the timesheets in both practice sessions in Belgium on Friday.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel finished ahead of Charles Leclerc in P1 at Spa-Francorchamps before the Monegasque produced a blistering lap in P2 to reverse the finishing positions.

The 21-year-old was 0.630 seconds quicker than his German team-mate while Mercedes star Valtteri Bottas, who sits second in the Drivers’ Championship, was a distant 0.846secs adrift.

British ace Lewis Hamilton was fourth, 0.046secs behind his team-mate, while Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was fifth fastest but was forced to end P2 early after his car started smoking and could start Sunday’s race at the back of the grid alongside team-mate Lance Stroll.

Dutchman Max Verstappen then came in sixth for Red Bull while his new partner Alexander Albon, who replaced Pierre Gasly, was down in 10th on his first outing for his new employers.

Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo was seventh, ahead of the second Racing Point car of Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault, which was down in ninth.

Having seen the impressive work from Ferrari, Wolff admits the Silver Arrows’ rivals look like they will be the team to catch over the weekend in Belgium.

He told Sky Sports F1: “Today the Ferraris are the absolute benchmark and could be on Sunday – and also in Monza.”

Vettel and Hamilton are the joint 2/1 favourites with Betfred to qualify fastest on Saturday while Leclerc is next in the betting at 9/4, just ahead of 13/2 chance Bottas.

In regards to Sunday’s Grand Prix, Hamilton also leads the way at 7/4 while rival Vettel follows closely behind at odds of 9/4.

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