A productive day of practice at the Belgian Grand Prix ended on a slightly low note as Max was quickest but then crashed in the final moments of FP2.
Tricky conditions greeted the teams for the first action since the summer break, and it was a damp start to Friday’s running, with morning rain ensuring the intermediate tyres were used in the early part of FP1. The track did dry out however to allow some representative running on slicks, and after Yuki suffered a spin at Turn 1, Max got down to business and sat top of the times for most of the session.
Only late on when everyone ran the soft tyres was Max displaced, ending up second fastest ahead of Pierre in an impressive third. Sergio was sixth in the second Red Bull, with Yuki in 15th place as he completed his first laps in an F1 car around the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
FP2 was a similar story as there was little in the way of track action in the opening moments as teams waited to be sure the track was dry enough for slicks, but once competitive lap times were being set it was Max who set the pace, this time remaining there as he pipped the two Mercedes drivers.
However, after a red flag due to a crash for Charles Leclerc at the end of the first sector, there was under ten minutes remaining when the session resumed, leaving limited opportunity to gather long run data. As the clock approached zero, Max then spun out of Turn 7 and damaged the right rear corner of the car, bringing out the red flags again and ending FP2 slightly early.
That small incident doesn’t overshadow what was an encouraging day though, with Pierre ending FP2 up in fifth place with Sergio in 10th and Yuki improving as he builds confidence at the track to end up 12th.