Verstappen leads second Belgian GP practice ended by red flag

Max Verstappen closed the day as the fastest in Spa-Francorchamps. In the second free practice of the F1 Belgium GP, held this Friday (27), the Dutchman scored the best time, beating the Mercedes duo.

The Red Bull competitor tried to score the time of 1min44s472 to be the fastest in the field. Second place was Valtteri Bottas just 0.041 behind the pointer, while Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly completed the top five.

The session was interrupted by two red flags. The first was caused by a massive accident by Charles Leclerc at turn 6, the second being brought by Verstappen himself, who hit the wall at turn 7 and ended the session prematurely.

Max Verstappen Belgium F1 Red Bull
Max Verstappen (Photo: Red Bull)

Check out the second free practice of the F1 Belgium GP:

As in TL1, the second practice started with very cloudy and cold weather. The thermometer at Spa-Francorchamps noted 14ºC, while the asphalt hit 19ºC, with the air humidity reaching 84%, the wind blowing from the east at a speed of 5.4 km/h.

Between the sessions of Belgian activities, Red Bull announced the renewal of its contract with Sergio Pérez. The Mexican is another part of the 2022 season that fits – on Thursday, it was Fernando Alonso who was announced on Alpine.

Lights off and the clock began to run backwards to 1:00 of activity. As in the first practice, the first minutes were with a wet track and the drivers needed to decide whether to leave the garage with slick or intermediate tires.

After the first turns, the competitors started to make their decisions. Lando Norris was the first to note that the asphalt was too dry for intermediate compounds, with Valtteri Bottas following McLaren’s English.

With 1min48s219, Lando is the first to score a fast lap even after braking his tires at the La Sarte corner. It is worth mentioning that the competitor used hard tires in this early part of the session at Spa-Francorchamps.

Times started to pop up more and more on the table and Lando lowered his time even further to 1:47:138. Charles Leclerc, Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo, Nicholas Latifi, George Russell and Sebastian Vettel round out the drivers with fast laps made.

Latifi continues with the good performance this Friday. The Canadian did 1min46s198 on a medium tyre, while Esteban Ocon is in second position at 0s440 wearing the hardest compounds.

With just over 38 minutes left for the end of the second activity of the day, Bottas jumped as the fastest, making 1min43s513, time recorded with medium tire. Next comes Lewis Hamilton, also of medium rubber, with Verstappen, Gasly and Alonso closing the top-5.

Things continued without major changes at Spa-Francorchamps as training progressed. Mercedes still led in the top two positions, while Verstappen was 0.084 behind Hamilton.

Ocon staged a small scare with just over 20 minutes to go. The Frenchman ended up running at turn 14 between Les Fagnes and Stavelot turns, going in the wrong direction. But he was soon able to resume training without any major problems.

With just over 16 minutes for the checkered flag, the session was interrupted by a red flag. The reason was Leclerc’s heavy crash at turn 6 after losing the rear in the previous turn. However, the Monegasque did not suffer anything more serious.

At this point in the session, Verstappen is leading the session, with Bottas, Hamilton, Alonso, Gasly, Stroll, Ocon, Vettel, Norris and Pérez completing the top ten. The session resumed with ten minutes to go.

Less than five minutes and the time to beat is still that of the Dutchman from Red Bull of 1min44s472. The last moments of the activity were reserved for drivers and teams to try the race simulations.

Verstappen was another rider who had a bad accident, hitting the rear end at turn 7. This caused another red flag at Spa-Francorchamps, ending the session with three minutes to go.

1 – Max Verstappen, 1:44:472
2 – Valtteri Bottas, 1:44:513
3 – Lewis Hamilton, 1:44:544
4 – Fernando Alonso, 1:44:953
5 – Pierre Gasly, 1:44:965
6 – Throw Stroll, 1:45:180
7 – Esteban Ocon, 1:45:302
8 – Sebastian Vettel, 1:45:336
9 – Lando Norris, 1:45:386
10 – Sergio Pérez, 1:45:404
11 – Carlos Sainz, 1:45:517
12 – Yuki Tsunoda, 1:45:758
13 – Antonio Giovinazzi, 1:45:789
14 – Kimi Räikkönen, 1:45:967
15 – Daniel Ricciardo, 1:46:118
16 – Nicholas Latifi, 1:46:198
17 – George Russell, 1:46s665
18 – Charles Leclerc, 1:46:836
19 – Nikita Mazepin, 1:47:335
20 – Mick Schumacher, 1:47:539