Carlos Sainz led a Ferrari 1-2 at the first Free Practice session of the F1 Belgian GP. In a session that faced disruptions from the weather and Kevin Magnussen's Haas coming to a halt after Turn 1, the Ferraris were once again leading the charts.
Carlos Sainz was at the top of the standings, ahead of Charles Leclerc, who was less than a tenth slower than his teammate. Max Verstappen was third in his Red Bull as he set the time earlier in the session on soft tires. George Russell was the faster Mercedes driver today in P4, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton sat in P9.
Red Bull's Sergio Perez had a slightly slower start to the F1 Belgian GP weekend in P10 and will be hoping to make inroads in the upcoming sessions. Alpine's Esteban Ocon's start to the F1 Belgian GP weekend was cut short due to floor damage, while the Williams of both Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi appeared to be enjoying good lap times with strong straight-line speed in Sector 1.
Red Bull has significant straight-line speed advantage at the F1 Belgian GP
Looking at the speed traps, it was evident Max Verstappen enjoyed a significant straight-line speed advantage over Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton. Although engine mode and car setup could play a role, however, there was still a 16 kmph difference in the top speeds of the two cars.
Lewis Hamilton had a top speed of 319 kmph while Max Verstappen clocked 335 kmph on the straights. While Mercedes did look competitive in terms of lap time, it will be interesting to see what Verstappen can do with his straight-line speed advantage.
McLaren unveils an impressive new upgrade
McLaren has unveiled an extensive new upgrade on its car this weekend. The Woking-based squad currently finds itself fifth in the championship and is four points behind Alpine.
With the new upgrade, the team is hoping to get a leg up on Alpine in the battle for the best of the rest this season. Early Impressions? In terms of lap times, it does look impressive, but it would be very interesting to see what the car can produce in a race stint.
As many as 6 drivers will be taking grid penalties for the F1 Belgian GP
According to reports, as many as six drivers will be taking grid penalties for a power unit change. These include Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen, Mick Schumacher, Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas, and Lando Norris. With so many drivers opting for a new power unit, both qualifying and the race are surely going to be an interesting watch.