BELGIAN GP – Verstappen goes fastest as Mercedes appear to struggle or be masking there pace

Testing & Race Reports

Max Verstappen delighted the Belgian and Dutch fans by putting his Red Bull fastest during the second practice session for his de-facto home Grand Prix at Spa. The Belgian born Dutch driver went two tenths fastest than his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo while Nico Hulkenberg was third fastest for Force India.

The top three drivers set there fastest times around the Ardenne Forest on the Supersoft with Hulkenberg being half a second faster than Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Vettel struggled in the Ferrari to find the pace and find durability from the Pirelli tyres.

Nico Rosberg was sixth fastest while team-mate Lewis Hamilton was thirteenth. Hamilton already knew going into this race the team planned to trigger two engine penalties which equals a thirty place penalty meaning he will start last.

The reason why Mercedes chose not to run to fastest tyre today is its thought that they are  planning to only use the soft and medium compounds on race day. Rosberg finished the session as the only driver to set his best time on the mediums.

Kimi Raikkonen endured a frustrating afternoon as he struggled with the durability of the supersofts is limited to just a couple of laps due to the unexpectedly hot temperatures at Spa. Plus the Fin felt he was being held up by Romain Grosjean.

Fernando Alonso is also believed to be triggering a sixth power unit which means he will start alongside Hamilton on the grid at the back. It was a very difficult afternoon for the Spaniard following a water leak he will start last. As it is now the back row is Marcus Ericsson, Hamilton and Alonso.

Hamilton would move to last place on the grid if Mercedes do fit a third engine on Saturday.

It was a good afternoon for Haas with both their drivers Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez both running in the top ten. Grosjean setting an identical time to Jenson Button, with the Frenchman setting his time first it means he finished ahead of the Brit.

Pascal Wehrlein finished ahead of his team-mate debutant Esteban Ocon who out-paced him in first practice. It was a great lap for the German once again showing Manor’s progress finishing eleventh fastest 1.6 seconds down on Verstappen.

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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