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Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Sebastian Vettel the right favourite to power to pole at Spa

Ferrari on top after day one in Belgium

Sebastian Vettel sends the spray flying during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix
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Belgian Grand Prix qualifying
Channel 4 & Sky Sports F1, 2pm Saturday

It's difficult to argue with bookmakers' view that Sebastian Vettel is the likeliest pace-setter in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Ferrari had the upper hand on Friday with Vettel fastest in the morning practice session and Kimi Raikkonen taking over in the afternoon after Vettel made a mistake on his fastest lap.

The German trails Lewis Hamilton by 24 points in the championship and will have high hopes of gaining ground at the fast, flowing Spa circuit.

Mercedes were close enough in practice to suggest they can make a fight of it, but there is a feeling that if everyone puts in a clean qualifying lap the Prancing Horses will have their noses in front.

Hamilton was third fastest in first practice and second in the afternoon with his teammate Valtteri Bottas just behind but the Finn may not take part in qualifying.

He will start the race from the back of the grid having exceeded his allocation of engine parts. The same punishment awaits Renault's Nico Hulkenberg.

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Max Verstappen was an impressive second in the morning, his Red Bull sporting a super-slim rear wing to help make up for a lack of power from his Renault engine.

His teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who will move to Renault next year, had a troubled day beset with mechanical problems.

Verstappen slipped to fourth in the afternoon, seven-tenths of a second off the pace, which looks a more accurate reflection of his capabilities this weekend.

S Vettel fastest qualifier
2pts 11-10 bet365, BoyleSports

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Hamilton was third fastest in first practice and second in the afternoon with his teammate Valtteri Bottas just behind
E.W. Terms
Sky bet