Belgian GP: Verstappen goes quickest, crashes in FP2

Max Verstappen led Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in FP2 at Formula 1's 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, a session twice red-flagged due to incidents including a late crash for Verstappen.

As was the case in Friday's earlier FP1 session at Spa, FP2 got underway in damp conditions thanks to rain falling between the two one-hour practice sessions, although a there was a clear dry line already evident when Bottas led a small pack of runners out on intermediates when the pitlane opened.

Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen, Pierre Gasly, Sebastian Vettel and Lando Norris completed early installation laps on the inters before pitting to switch to slicks – led by McLaren driver Norris.

He duly set the session's first timed lap – a 1m48.219s – on the hard compound tyres, which Norris beat on the next tour of his run as he posted a 1m47.138s.

As the rest of the track dried quickly, the rest of the pack appeared straightaway on slicks and the times soon tumbled – with Esteban Ocon going fastest after 15 minutes had passed thanks to his 1m46.638s, also on the hard tyres.

That was soon beaten by Nicholas Latifi's 1m46.198s on the medium tyres, before the Williams driver was usurped by Bottas putting in a 1m44.513s – the Mercedes also running the yellow-walled rubber.

Verstappen slotted in behind Bottas before he was pipped by Hamilton, who ended up just 0.031s behind his teammate at this stage, with the world champion now running a much smaller rear wing compared to the set-up he used in FP1.

At the halfway stage, the Mercedes drivers were among the first runners to fit the soft tyres to complete qualifying simulation efforts, but curiously neither Bottas or Hamilton improved their personal bests on the softer rubber – although the latter did post the then quickest time in the middle sector.

When Verstappen emerged on the red-walled rubber a few minutes later, the Red Bull driver flew to the top spot with a 1m44.472s – beating Hamilton's fastest time in the technical middle sector before losing some ground to his personal best in the final third.

But it was nevertheless enough to give Verstappen the top spot by 0.041s to Bottas's best time on the mediums, with Hamilton 0.072s behind on his time also set on the mediums.

Fernando Alonso set the fourth fastest time for Alpine, ahead of Gasly and Lance Stroll.

Esteban Ocon ended up seventh after having a wild spin approaching the 40-minute mark when he lost the rear of his Alpine exiting the Fanges chicane and travelling sideways a long way down the track towards the first right of Stavelot before stopping facing the wrong way and then recovering to the pits with no damage other than a ruined set of softs.

Vettel, Norris and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 following the qualifying simulation efforts, with the Red Bull driver another runner who posted their best FP2 time on the mediums.

With further rain holding off, the teams were able to switch into their typical late FP2 high-fuel runs to gather information for the race long runs, but this part of the session was heavily disrupted.

First, with just over 15 minutes remaining, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who ended up 18th in the final standings, crashed at the final part of Les Combes – having lost the rear of his car when he accelerated out of the right-hand second part.

Leclerc's attempts to catch the incident brought him onto the kerbs on the inside of the sequence and he slid into the barriers between Turns 6 and 7, which knocked the left-front off his car and brought out the red flags.

After a short delay to recover the Ferrari, the session resumed with 10 minutes to go and most of the field lining up at the end of the pitlane.

The set off to complete further high-fuel running but this was cut short when Verstappen crashed with three minutes remaining – also at the final part of Les Combes, Turn 7, albeit exiting the corner compared to where Leclerc crashed.

Verstappen lost the rear of his RB16B at much high speed as he ran through the fast right-hander and went off backwards into the barriers on the outside, damaging both right-side wheels.

With so little time remaining and gravel strewn over the track as a result of the incident, FP2 was not restarted.

Check out our post-session podcast:

 
Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 12 1'44.472
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 14 1'44.513 0.041
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 13 1'44.544 0.072
4 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 15 1'44.953 0.481
5 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 17 1'44.965 0.493
6 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 14 1'45.180 0.708
7 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 15 1'45.302 0.830
8 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 16 1'45.336 0.864
9 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 18 1'45.386 0.914
10 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 13 1'45.404 0.932
11 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 14 1'45.517 1.045
12 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 17 1'45.758 1.286
13 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 16 1'45.789 1.317
14 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 18 1'45.967 1.495
15 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 14 1'46.118 1.646
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 17 1'46.198 1.726
17 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 14 1'46.665 2.193
18 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 13 1'46.836 2.364
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 14 1'47.335 2.863
20 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 15 1'47.529 3.057
shares
comments

Related video

Capito drops Latifi contract renewal hint at Williams F1

Previous article

Capito drops Latifi contract renewal hint at Williams F1

Next article

Lewis Hamilton says F1 track surface has "ruined" Eau Rouge

Lewis Hamilton says F1 track surface has "ruined" Eau Rouge
Load comments
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021