Belgium Grand Prix: Max Verstappen finished fastest but exited second practice on the first day of F1

Formula One contender Max Verstappen finished Friday’s hurdles procedure after narrowly outperforming the two Mercedes drivers in the schedule; Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc also crashed in second practice

Last update: 08/27/21 4:14 PM

Max Verstappen crashes his Red Bull into the hurdles, raising the red flag as second practice ends at the Belgian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen crashes his Red Bull into the hurdles, raising the red flag as second practice ends at the Belgian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen crashed after setting the fastest time for second practice on the first day of F1 in action after the summer break at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Verstappen narrowly edged out Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in qualifying, but ended the session against the hurdles after losing to Red Bull’s rear at Malmedy’s corner.

The Dutch Red Bull appeared to have damaged the right rear suspension.

“I lost recently, I overshoot and hit the wall,” said Verstappen, who is eight points behind Hamilton in the championship.

“Before that we were very happy, a very positive start.”

Verstappen had set the pace with the best lap around the long, tough Spa-Francorchamps circuit at 1:44,472, less than a tenth of the two Mercedes’ best lap times on medium tyres, while Red Bull posted its fastest lap on soft-clutch.

Strong Ferrari collision in the hurdles, Charles Leclerc lost the rear at the exit of Turn 6 and went to the hurdles when pressing on the soft tyres.

Strong Ferrari collision in the hurdles, Charles Leclerc lost the rear at the exit of Turn 6 and went to the hurdles when pressing on the soft tyres.

Strong Ferrari collision in the hurdles, Charles Leclerc lost the rear at the exit of Turn 6 and went to the hurdles when pressing on the soft tyres.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc broke down earlier in the Les Combes session.

Fernando Alonso was the fourth fastest player in Alpine, ahead of Pierre Gasly of Alpha Torri and Aston Martin Lance Stroll.

Fernando Alonso wore a very special helmet at the Belgian Grand Prix.  Jump on board to see Alonso and experience the same sights and sounds as an F1 driver

Fernando Alonso wore a very special helmet at the Belgian Grand Prix. Jump on board to see Alonso and experience the same sights and sounds as an F1 driver

Fernando Alonso wore a very special helmet at the Belgian Grand Prix. Jump on board to see Alonso and experience the same sights and sounds as an F1 driver

Sergio Perez’s position at Red Bull for 2022 confirmed An hour before the afternoon practice started, the Mexican finished the session in 10th place, behind McLaren’s Lando Norris, Aston’s Sebastian Vettel and Hungarian winner Esteban Ocon.

Formula One back: But do Mercedes or Red Bull have the edge in spa?

Aside from Verstappen’s late crash, the main talking point from the opening two practice sessions since the F1 summer break is that the battle between Mercedes and Red Bull is still as competitive as ever.

Conditions were variable all day Friday around the famous trail in the heart of the Ardennes Forest, but the second session was less affected by the drizzling rain than the first.

Mercedes was partly faster than Verstappen on the medium compound, but failed to improve its times when the W12 switched to the softer compound.

Lewis Hamilton reflects on a positive Friday training session

Lewis Hamilton reflects on a positive Friday training session

Lewis Hamilton reflects on a positive Friday training session

“It was a good day,” said Hamilton, last year’s winner at Spa last year. “The car wasn’t quite under my car today, so I have to do some work tonight and try to figure that out.”

“It’s a very difficult circle trying to find that balance [in set-up]. But it’s a great, great circuit.”

Qualifications take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Live broadcast only on Sky Sports F1.

Belgian GP second practice schedule

Driver Team time
1) Max Verstappen Red Bull 1: 44.472
2) Valtteri Bottas mercedes +0.041
3) Lewis Hamilton mercedes +0.072
4) Fernando Alonso Alps +0.481
5) Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +0.493
6) Lance’s Outing Aston Martin +0.708
7) Esteban Ocon Alps +0.830
8) Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +0.864
9) Lando Norris McLaren +0.914
10) Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.932
11) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +1.045
12) Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +1.286
13) Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo +1.317
14) Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +1.495
15) Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +1.646
16) Nicholas Latifi Williams +1.726
17) George Russell Williams +2.193
18) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +2.364
19) Nikita Mazepin Hass +2.863
20) Mick Schumacher Hass +3.057

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