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
|1||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing||1:44.472||12|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:44.513||+0.041||14|
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:44.544||+0.072||13|
|4||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Alpine F1 Team||1:44.953||+0.481||15|
|5||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:44.965||+0.493||17|
|6||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1:45.180||+0.708||14|
|7||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine F1 Team||1:45.302||+0.830||15|
|8||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1:45.336||+0.864||16|
|9||4||Lando Norris||ITA||McLaren F1 Team||1:45.386||+0.914||18|
|10||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||Red Bull Racing||1:45.404||+0.932||13|
|11||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||1:45.517||+1.045||14|
|12||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:45.758||+1.286||17|
|13||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||1:45.789||+1.317||16|
|14||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||1:45.967||+1.495||18|
|15||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1:46.118||+1.646||14|
|16||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1:46.198||+1.726||17|
|17||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||1:46.665||+2.193||14|
|18||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1:46.836||+2.364||13|
|19||9||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1:47.335||+2.863||14|
|20||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1:47.529||+3.057||15|