Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 Belgian GP commentary and updates - FP1 & FP2

Live commentary and updates on Friday practice for the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, taking place at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

Live: F1 Belgian GP commentary and updates - FP1 & FP2

F1 returns after its summer break with major developments off the track taking focus, headlined by Audi’s announcement it will join the championship as a power unit supplier in 2026.

It followed a shake-up in the F1 driver market, as Daniel Ricciardo’s early split from McLaren at the end of the season was confirmed earlier this week. With Fernando Alonso heading to Aston Martin to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel in 2023, attention turns to Oscar Piastri and whether he will end up at Alpine or McLaren.

On the track, Max Verstappen leads the F1 world drivers’ championship by 80 points over Charles Leclerc thanks to back-to-back wins in France and Hungary before the summer break.

By: Haydn Cobb, Tom Howard, Lewis Duncan

Summary

Summary

  • Verstappen tops rain-hit FP2 at Spa
  • Sainz tops FP1 for Belgian GP from Ferrari team-mate Leclerc with Verstappen third
  • Leclerc, Verstappen, Norris and Ocon set for grid penalties due to power unit changes
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Norris, McLaren
  4. Stroll, Aston Martin
  5. Sainz, Ferrari
  6. Hamilton, Mercedes
  7. Alonso, Alpine
  8. Russell, Mercedes
  9. Ricciardo, McLaren
  10. Perez, Red Bull
Status: Stopped
 
The F1 field will return to the track on Saturday for FP3 at midday BST, before qualifying begins at 1500 BST.
Hamilton ended the session as the top Mercedes in sixth, two tenths faster than team-mate Russell in eighth. The pair sandwiched the Alpine of Alonso. Ricciardo and Perez completed the top 10, some 1.8s behind team-mate Verstappen.
Stroll emerged as the best of the rest for Aston Martin with an impressive 1:46.635s, which was good enough for fourth. Stroll was just a tenth behind Norris in third, but ahead of Sainz.
Verstappen's 1:45.507s benchmark, set on soft tyres, was 0.862s quicker than Leclerc with Norris a further 0.2s in arrears.
FP2 top 10: Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris, Stroll, Sainz, Hamilton, Alonso, Russell Ricciardo and Perez.
Stewards have noted a possible practice start infringement for Verstappen.
Chequered flag is out. Max Verstappen tops FP2 for Red Bull from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and McLaren's Lando Norris.
A flurry of action now as cars roll out with a minute remaining. Teams keen to conduct some practice starts.
Vettel and Stroll complete out laps on wets before returning to the pit lane.
The Aston Martins of Stroll (P4) and Vettel (P15) have ventured out to brave the conditions.
Verstappen continues to be the driver to beat courtesy of the Dutchman's 1:45.507s, set on the soft compound tyres.
All 20 cars have returned to the pits with a little over six minutes remaining.
Schumacher has a trip through the gravel trap at Turn 6. Yellow flags fly briefly.
There is a flurry of action in the pits as the rain comes down.
Norris runs wide again at Les Combes. The corner at the end of the Kemmel Straight is proving to be a real challenge in these slippery conditions.
Norris is the latest to run wide at Les Combes. Russell has a massive slide at Eau Rouge but hangs onto it.
Verstappen: 'It is raining a lot".  The weather has arrived with 12 minutes remaining.
Hamilton has another lock up and runs wide at Les Combes. The Mercedes driver is currently sitting in P6.
Perez is however 1.8s adrift of his team-mate and pacesetter Verstappen.
Perez hauls his Red Bull into P10 on the soft compound tyres.
Stroll and Sainz have moved to the medium tyres now. The pair are sitting fourth and fifth currently.
Gasly has a moment at Turn 8 and runs through the gravel trap.
Haas boss Gunther Steiner confirms the team had to change the battery on Magnussen's car after his stoppage in FP1.
Verstappen rejoins from the pits on mediums. His team-mate Perez is down in P16.
Norris has to run wide to avoid a slow Aston Martin of Stroll at the bus stop. Norris then pits.
Stroll reports that he is starting to see drops of rain.
Alonso jumps from P18 to P7 in his soft tyre shod Alpine.
Top 6 after the first soft tyre runs: Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris, Stroll, Sainz and Hamilton.
Stroll pops the Aston Martin into third before his time is eclipsed by Norris' McLaren.
Sainz briefly moves to the top before Verstappen fires in a 1:45.507s. A big effort from the championship leader, who moves 0.8s clear of Leclerc, who slots into P2.
Russell, who was struggling for tyre temp earlier the session has now climbed to P3, but is a second adrift of pacesetter Verstappen.
The majority of the field are back out on track now. Verstappen, Sainz and Leclerc have opted for softs.
Leclerc appears to be distracted by some the noises he is hearing in the cockpit and reports this to his Ferrari team.
Gasly, sitting P12, is the only car out on track at the minute.
Verstappen's current benchmark is 1:46.850s. He is 0.540s faster than nearest rival Sainz.
Top 10 after 15 minutes: Verstappen, Sainz, Leclerc, Perez, Tsunoda, Norris, Zhou, Ricciardo, Alonso and Hamilton.
Hamilton is the latest to suffer a big lock up. The Mercedes driver locked up the left front going into La Source.
Russell seems to be struggling to get tyre temperature in his Mercedes. The Briton is sitting in P16 currently.