Max Verstappen set the fastest time during second practice for Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix before crashing out of the session.
Verstappen clocked a time of 1:44.472s on Soft tyres in cool conditions at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, following earlier rain, to narrowly head Mercedes pair Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas and Hamilton finished just 0.041s and 0.072s behind respectively but did so on the Medium tyres, having been unable to improve on their Soft runs.
Verstappen brought the session to an early halt a few minutes from the scheduled conclusion after crashing through Malmedy.
Verstappen lost control of the RB16B through the right-hander at the highest point of the track and slid into the barriers, sustaining damage to the rear-right of the car.
Charles Leclerc claimed his maiden grand prix victory in Belgium in 2019 but also suffered a crash during the second practice session.
Leclerc copped an armful of oversteer exiting Les Combes and as he tried to correct the moment slid into the tyre wall entering Malmedy.
The left-front of Leclerc’s Ferrari SF21 sustained terminal damage and his incident brought out the red flags.
Leclerc finished the day down in 18th place, in front of only the Haas drivers Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher.
Alpine claimed a shock victory in Hungary and while a repeat in Belgium is highly unlikely both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon displayed encouraging speed.
At a circuit where the team was relatively strong under its Renault guise in 2020 Alonso was fourth while Hungary winner Ocon placed seventh, avoiding damage after a spin exiting Fagnes.
Pierre Gasly maintained his and AlphaTauri’s strong performance from the opening practice session by classifying fifth, just 0.012s behind Alonso, and within half a second of pacesetter Verstappen.
Lance Stroll was sixth for Aston Martin, with team-mate Sebastian Vettel eighth, as McLaren’s Lando Norris and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10.
It was confirmed earlier on Friday that Perez will be staying within Red Bull’s stable in 2022.
2021 F1 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE RESULTS (2)
|1||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing||1m44.472s|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1m44.513s|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1m44.544s|
|4||Fernando Alonso||CHI||Alpine F1 Team||1m44.953s|
|5||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1m44.965s|
|6||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1m45.180s|
|7||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine F1 Team||1m45.302s|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1m45.336s|
|9||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1m45.386s|
|10||Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull Racing||1m45.404s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||1m45.517s|
|12||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1m45.758s|
|13||Antonio Giovinazzi||GBR||Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen||1m45.789s|
|14||Kimi Raikkonen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen||1m45.967s|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1m46.118s|
|16||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1m46.198s|
|17||George Russell||ISR||Williams Racing||1m46.665s|
|18||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||1m46.836s|
|19||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1m47.335s|
|20||Mick Schumacher||GER||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1m47.529s|