Sebastian Vettel headed up a one-two finish for Ferrari in opening practice for the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday as reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton only took P6 after a scruffy session.

Vettel arrived in Belgium eager to end his year-long win drought, and made an impressive start to the weekend as he topped the timesheets for Ferrari in FP1 with a best lap of 1m44.574s.

Vettel's effort was two-tenths of a second quicker than that of teammate Charles Leclerc, who took P2, while Max Verstappen rounded out the top three for Red Bull, albeit nine-tenths of a second back from the fastest time.

Alexander Albon made a solid start to life with Red Bull as he finished fourth overall, within one-tenth of a second of Verstappen. Pierre Gasly languished down in 18th as he returned to Toro Rosso, three-tenths of a second off new teammate Daniil Kvyat's time.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton wound up fifth and sixth respectively as they focused on Medium-tyre runs, sitting 1.3 seconds off the pace.

Hamilton's session proved to be a difficult one as a throttle pedal issue that caused him to slow on-track early in the session, with a loss of telemetry costing him more track time late in the session. The Briton also had moments at the La Source hairpin and at Turn 9, touching the grass as he complained about his tyres.

Lance Stroll took seventh for Racing Point despite losing part of his engine cover early in the session, leaving debris on the track and forcing him to pit for repairs, while teammate Sergio Perez took ninth behind Renault's Daniel Ricciardo. Carlos Sainz completed the top 10 for McLaren.