Free Practice 2
F1 2021
Round 12

Part 2 Of The 2021 #F1 Season Gets Underway In Belgium

be Spa Francorchamps

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.

Part 2 Of The 2021 #F1 Season Gets Underway In Belgium

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.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
It’s good to be racing again after the break, having completed the first day of practice at Spa, with all the Honda team members keen to get back to work after a short rest. Although today’s session was affected by typical Spa weather with changeable conditions, so that we had to deal with a damp surface at times, we were able to run slicks most of the day. All four Honda-powered cars from both our teams completed their programmes almost as scheduled. We will now work on our PU calibration based on the data we have acquired, taking into account that the weather situation continues to be unpredictable for the next two days. At the end of FP2, Max spun into the barriers, but so far there is no sign of any problems with the PU from our data. We will take a more detailed look tonight. 

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
I think we definitely had a positive start today but unfortunately I just lost the rear at the end of the second session, there was a bit too much oversteer to correct and I hit the wall. As a Team we were quite happy with how everything was going and we did some fine tuning between FP1 and FP2. Looking ahead to tomorrow, there are of course things to take into consideration including the weather but it’s difficult to say what the track is going to be like in the wet. I think Saturday and Sunday will be similar weather to today so it will definitely be interesting. It’s also great that Checo will be with the Team next year, we have a good relationship so I’m happy to continue working together to try and score a lot of points for the Team for the rest of this season and of course next year.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
The car is feeling good and I think we have strong potential for this weekend. It’s going to be interesting what happens with the weather tomorrow as that obviously affects how you configure the car but I’m looking forward to it. I think we will be in the fight and able to have a good qualifying, the pace was strong out there today and it will be interesting to see who has what when they put it all together in Q3. We collected plenty of information over the two practice sessions, we’ll sit down this evening to analyse it so we have the best package tomorrow. It’s also great to have my contract for next year with Red Bull finalised so that I can focus my energy on this season. I really enjoy being a part of this Team so I’m really happy to continue for 2022 but my focus right now is on this weekend and delivering the best possible result.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I’m really happy to be back racing again after the summer break, particularly at such a great track like Spa. It was important for us to have the best start possible this weekend and I think that’s what we’ve done today, finishing P3 and P5. We know the areas we need to focus on going into tomorrow, as of course there’s always some extra speed to find. The weather is very interchangeable here in Spa, we’ve seen it today with different conditions, and we may have rain tomorrow, so we need to be prepared for that as well. The baseline we have seems to work and we’re hoping we can confirm that everything is working well in Qualifying tomorrow.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
My main target this weekend is consistency and to build up the pace in the car across the practice sessions. I think so far this has gone well and we’ve been able to adapt across the sessions to improve our performance. As a team, you can see the pace is there, so I just need to continue improving and gaining confidence ahead of Qualifying tomorrow. The weather changes here are fairly traditional for Spa, it’s definitely quite difficult to drive, but I have some great memories from this circuit over the last few years and I’m excited to be driving here again, especially in a Formula 1 car.

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