Spa, FP2: Verstappen on top in second practice at Spa but then crashes
Bottas 2nd, Hamilton 3rd
Max Verstappen set the pace in the second practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, narrowly beating Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Lrwis Hamilton bny less than a hundredth of a second, but the Red Bull driver’s session ended in disappointment when he crashed out in the final moments of the session at Spa-Francorchamps.
Verstappen lost the back end of his RB16B as he went into the Les Combes sequence at the end of the long Kemmel straight and he spun into the barriers on the left side of the circuit, causing substantial damage to the rear right of his Red Bull.
As with the morning session, the afternoon running got off to a slow start as drivers gingerly tested the damp conditions. Once the conditions proved suitable for dry tyres, McLaren’s Lando Norris got running properly underway with a lap of 1:48.219 on hard tyres. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi then took turns at the top as the track improved before Bottas then took a significant step forward with a lap of 1:44.513 on medium tyres.
Verstappen then took P2 before Hamilton went just 0.031 slower than his teammate to establish a Mercedes one-two.
The Mercedes pair were then among the first to make the switch to soft tyres though neither was able to improve on the red-banded Pirelli rubber. Verstappen, however, did make gains and he claimed top spot with a lap of 1:44.472, 0.041 ahead of Bottas.
However, his good work was then undone in the final moments when he lost the rear end of his car in Les Combes.
At the flag, Fernando Alonso set the fourth fastest time for Alpine, ahead of AlhaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll. Ocon finished in seventh ahead of the seodnde Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Pérez, newly confirmed for another year at Red Bull Racing, completed the top 10 order.
|01||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RB16B||1:44.472||12|
|02||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes W12||1:44.513||14|
|03||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W12||1:44.544||13|
|04||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A521||1:44.953||15|
|05||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda AT02||1:44.965||17|
|06||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21||1:45.180||14|
|07||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A521||1:45.302||15|
|08||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21||1:45.336||16|
|09||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL35M||1:45.386||18|
|10||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull Honda RB16B||1:45.404||13|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari SF21||1:45.517||14|
|12||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda AT02||1:45.758||17|
|13||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41||1:45.789||16|
|14||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41||1:45.967||18|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL35M||1:46.118||14|
|16||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW43B||1:46.198||17|
|17||George Russell||Williams Mercedes FW43B||1:46.665||14|
|18||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF21||1:46.836||13|
|19||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari VF-21||1:47.335||14|
|20||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-21||1:47.529||15|