Formula 1

Verstappen Tops Second Practice Despite Late Crash at Spa-Francorchamps

3 Mins read
Credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Max Verstappen topped the second practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday, but the Dutchman ended the session in the barriers after running wide at turn seven.

The Red Bull Racing driver caused the second red flag of the session after Charles Leclerc also crashed his Scuderia Ferrari SF21 earlier on in the session between turns six and seven.  Both cars were left with damage and the mechanics will have work to do ahead of Saturday’s running at Spa-Francorchamps.

Leclerc lost control of his car as he exited turn six, with the rear of the car getting away from him enough for him to clip the barriers on the outside of turn seven as he attempted to correct the slide, with the front-left tyre taking the biggest damage.

Verstappen’s crash was at higher speed, with the Dutchman spinning on the exit of turn seven after running wide and putting two wheels on the gravel.  The left-hand side of the car again took the brunt of the impact, but the red flag brought a premature end to the session.

Verstappen had earlier set the best time of the day with a lap of 1:44.472 on the red-walled soft tyres, but he will be wary of the pace of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team this weekend, with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton both within a tenth of a second of the Dutchman but on the supposedly slower, yellow-walled medium tyre.

Neither Bottas nor Hamilton could improve on their soft tyre run, but Mercedes and Red Bull are going to be closely matched this weekend based on Friday’s pace.  The only oddity in this battle was the performance of Sergio Pérez, fresh off the back of a new contract for 2022 with Red Bull, who was over nine-tenths of a second down on Verstappen in tenth place.

Fernando Alonso was an excellent fourth for the Alpine F1 Team, while Pierre Gasly showed that Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda have a strong car this weekend by placing fifth having ended third in the morning session.

The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team ended sixth and eighth with Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel respectively, either side of the second Alpine of Esteban Ocon. Ocon caused a brief yellow flag early on after spinning exiting the Fagnes chicane, with the Frenchman’s tyres being ruined in the incident.  However, he was able to return to the pits under his own steam and continue with the session.

Lando Norris ended ninth for the McLaren F1 Team ahead of Pérez, while Carlos Sainz Jr. was the leading Ferrari driver in eleventh as Leclerc’s crash left him well down the order in eighteenth.

Yuki Tsunoda was twelfth fastest in the second of the AlphaTauri’s, but much like the morning session, he was well down on the pace of team-mate Gasly, almost eight-tenths of a second separated the duo.  He ended up just ahead of the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN duo of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen, while Daniel Ricciardo will be disappointed to be only fifteenth in the second McLaren.

Nicholas Latifi had the better of Williams Racing team-mate George Russell on Friday afternoon, with the Canadian and Briton ending sixteenth and seventeenth respectively, while Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher once again brought up the rear for the Uralkali Haas F1 Team.

Belgian Grand Prix Free Practice 2 Result

133Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:44.472 12
277Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:44.513+0.04114
344Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:44.544+0.07213
414Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:44.953+0.48115
510Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:44.965+0.49317
618Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:45.180+0.70814
731Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:45.302+0.83015
85Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:45.336+0.86416
94Lando NorrisITAMcLaren F1 Team1:45.386+0.91418
1011Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing1:45.404+0.93213
1155Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari1:45.517+1.04514
1222Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:45.758+1.28617
1399Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:45.789+1.31716
147Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:45.967+1.49518
153Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:46.118+1.64614
166Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:46.198+1.72617
1763George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:46.665+2.19314
1816Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:46.836+2.36413
199Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team1:47.335+2.86314
2047Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:47.529+3.05715
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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