verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18 sends sparks flying. Belgian Grand Prix, Friday 26th August 2022. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

World Champion Max Verstappen streaked clear during second practice for Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Verstappen, who will drop towards the back of the grid due to an engine penalty, set a time of 1:45.507s in cool and overcast conditions on Friday afternoon.

That effort left Verstappen 0.862s clear of nearest rival Charles Leclerc around the 7km track, the longest on the Formula 1 calendar.

When informed of Verstappen’s time by his race engineer Leclerc replied: “Whoa, okay.”

Leclerc is also due to drop down on the starting grid owing to component changes, as is McLaren’s Lando Norris, who placed third overall.

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Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll was a surprise fourth after the Soft tyre runs.

Stroll has yet to finish higher than tenth this season amid Aston Martin’s struggles with its AMR22 but was the quickest of the drivers without a grid penalty.

Carlos Sainz was fifth for Ferrari, with Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell sixth and eighth respectively, amid tyre warm-up difficulties.

Fernando Alonso split the Mercedes drivers in seventh spot, with Daniel Ricciardo ninth for McLaren, as he prepares for his final events at the team.

Sergio Perez ran offset compared to other drivers, having remained in the garage for a prolonged period, and could muster only 10th when he appeared for his qualifying simulation.

Conditions worsened during the final 10 minutes of the session, with rain falling, and while several drivers slid wide at Les Combes, along with a moment for Hamilton through Eau Rouge, no-one came to any serious grief.

Alexander Albon was 11th for Williams, ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, while AlphaTauri pair Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly 13th and 14h respectively, with Sebastian Vettel 15th for Aston Martin.

Gasly had a minor excursion through the gravel at Rivage but was able to recover his AT03 to the circuit.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, another driver facing a grid drop, was 16th overall, while Haas had a quiet display.

Kevin Magnussen took 17th while the penalised Mick Schumacher ran through the gravel en route to finishing at the back of the girld.

They were split by Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas – another driver who has a grid penalty – and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.

Saturday’s final practice is scheduled for 13:00 local time

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

verstappen surges clear in second belgian gp practice

Position Driver Team Time Gap
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:45.507
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:46.369 0.862
3 Lando Norris McLaren 1:46.289 1.082
4 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:46.635 1.128
5 Carlos Sainz Jr Ferrari 1:46.649 1.142
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:46.893 1.386
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:46.975 1.468
8 George Russell Mercedes 1:47.042 1.535
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:47.255 1.748
10 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:47.346 1.839
11 Alex Albon Williams 1:47.520 2.013
12 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo 1:47.617 2.110
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:47.658 2.151
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:47.782 2.275
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:47.867 2.360
16 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:47.944 2.437
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:48.208 2.701
18 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:48.419 2.912
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:48.612 3.105
20 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:49.941 4.434

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