F1 Belgian GP: Verstappen fastest in FP2 despite late crash

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.

F1 Belgian GP: Verstappen fastest in FP2 despite late crash

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 team-mate 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.

Marshals remove the car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Marshals remove the car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

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.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

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 higher 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.

Results

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

F1’s new pitstop rule: What is it and why is it being introduced?

Previous article

F1’s new pitstop rule: What is it and why is it being introduced?

Next article

Grand Prix practice results: Max Verstappen fastest, then crashes in Spa

Grand Prix practice results: Max Verstappen fastest, then crashes in Spa
Load comments
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021