F1 championship leader Max Verstappen set a blistering pace in second practice at the Belgian Grand Prix, heading title rival Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen was untouchable in his Red Bull on Friday afternoon as he ended up 0.862s clear of Leclerc’s Ferrari, while Lando Norris took third spot for McLaren, a second down.
But the fastest three drivers in FP2 will each be hit with grid penalties for Sunday’s grand prix after exceeding their power unit allocation with engine changes at Spa-Francorchamps.
The quickest driver without a grid drop looming over them was Lance Stroll, who was fourth fastest and 1.1s down in his Aston Martin, ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Mercedes’ drivers struggled to fire up their tyres in the cool temperatures as Lewis Hamilton finished sixth and 1.4s off the pace. Behind Fernando Alonso’s Alpine came the second Mercedes of George Russell, who was two tenths slower than his teammate in eighth.
Daniel Ricciardo, who is without an F1 seat for 2023 after having his McLaren contract terminated early, was once again well adrift of teammate Norris.
Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 but was nearly two seconds slower than Red Bull teammate and FP2 pacesetter Verstappen.
Full results from second practice at the Belgian GP
Several drivers including Hamilton and Norris had off-track moments as rain fell in the closing stages of the session.
The seven-time world champion also flew across the new extended run-off area at Raidillon following a wobble through Eau Rouge.
The slippery conditions also caught out Mick Schumacher but the Haas driver avoided the barriers during a trip through the gravel at Malmedy.