Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel took turns leading FP1 and FP2, at the Spa race on August 30.
The fastest Leclerc of the day, with a minute of 44,123 seconds, is faster than Vettel by 0.63 seconds at FP2. Mercedes drivers – Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton – are 0.846 and 0.892 seconds respectively. While the best performance of Leclerc, Vettel and Bottas is done on soft tires, Hamilton uses regular tires. P5 unexpectedly belongs to Sergio Perez (Racing Point), above Max Verstappen (Red Bull).
Red Bull slightly changed the rear spoiler in front of the Belgian GP, reducing the pressure to improve the speed on the typical long lines of the Spa. The change helped them quickly after Ferrari in FP1. Rookie Red Bull Alexander Albon debuted smoothly with a minute of 45,584 seconds, less than 0.1 second to Verstappen.
The improved RB15, but not enough to win Ferrari. The Italian team has yet to win a stage, but is expected to win for the second consecutive week at Spa and Monza (Italy). The SF90 has low and unbalanced pressure, but easily takes advantage of the long straight lines like in the Spa. The fastest Vettel FP1 with a minute of 44,574 seconds, than Leclerc 0.214 seconds.
Knowing it was impossible to match Ferrari in a long straight line, Mercedes had to rely heavily on the main lap tactic. Bottas and Hamilton both use ordinary tires at FP1, with a record of 45,882 seconds and 45,973 seconds, respectively. Hamilton had a little trouble when the engine was not working in the first minutes, but Mercedes promptly corrected it.
Ferrari overwhelmed the first test day of the Belgian Grand Prix
In FP2, Verstappen had problems similar to Hamilton, leaving him not much time to improve achievements. Young Dutch talent is only sixth with a 45,507-minute minute. And Albon is the 10th fastest with a 45,771 second minute.
The driver of the day is Perez, with Mercedes new engine. But his car caught fire near the end of the FP2, causing the test race to close earlier than expected.