Max Verstappen dominated the second free practice session of the 2022 F1 Belgian GP as he ended the session almost a second quicker than his closest challenger Charles Leclerc. On a weekend where the reigning world champion is expected to start the race at the back of the grid, Verstappen found himself in a completely different league to any other driver on the grid.
Lando Norris made for a surprise P3, while Lance Stroll was an even bigger surprise, placing P4.
Carlos Sainz was a rather disappointing P5, while Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell found themselves P6 and P8, respectively, split by Alpine's departing Fernando Alonso. The top ten was completed by Daniel Ricciardo (P9) and Sergio Perez (P10).
Ferrari loses a lot of time in the middle sector of the F1 Belgian GP
Ferrari was losing close to half a second in the middle sector of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Red Bull surely has an advantage in the fast-speed corners, but the gap between the two teams is still alarming.
For the F1 Belgian GP, Charles Leclerc's Ferrari will start at the back of the grid. The team might have taken some downforce off the car, which could have contributed to this deficit.
McLaren's new upgrade package works well, while Aston Martin surprises
Contrary to our predictions of a strong weekend for Alpine and a rather underwhelming one for McLaren and Aston Martin, it looks like the situation might not be so crystal clear. While Lando Norris came a stunning P3 in FP2, and Daniel Ricciardo was P9. Aston Martin's Lance Stroll too pulled off a lap good enough for P4 in the standings.
While Fernando Alonso also had a good lap and was P7, all this does indicate is that the teams are starting to converge on performance this weekend. Williams driver Alex Albon impressed with a P11 on the timesheets. Haas, however, was one of the more disappointing teams, stranded near the bottom of the standings with both drivers.
In terms of performance, it appears as though Max Verstappen is in a league of his at the F1 Belgian GP. Having said that, it will be very interesting to see what role the two Mercedes drivers play in the race.