Belgian GP | Verstappen tops FP2 in a Red Bull one-two

Max Verstappen tops second free practice at the Belgian Grand Prix.

As Hamilton took his second power unit change of the day, there was a change atop the leaderboard as Red Bull topped the session by half a second. Verstappen’s time an hour into the session was enough to fend off his Australian team-mate, with Mercedes down 6th and 13th.

Grosjean was first out of the pits as the second practice session of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend went green. Romain, though, was clearly unhappy with the Haas as he reported “the rear end is a disaster. The front end is no better”.

Grosjean had led the Renaults out of the pits as the session went green. But the two cars that joined the Frenchmen were down to one early on as  Palmer developed a power issue. Initially, the Briton reported “vibration when I go over 60% throttle”, but as he racked up further laps he lost power. managed to restart the system using the electrics from the MGU-K

After activating a Virtual Safety Car period, Jolyon was, however, able to restart the system using the electrics from the MGU-K.

Although he would go on to end the session down in 13th place, Hamilton was able to lead the early stages from Raikkonen while running on the prototype Pirelli tyres.

Hamilton had taken another new power unit during the lunch break. Taking on new components mean Lewis will carry a further 15-place grid penalty into the race on top of the original 15 received for power unit components used in FP1. Alonso’s engine change following an FP1 water leak resulted in a 35-place pen for new ICE, MGU-H, MGU-K, turbo, control electronics and energy store. Ericsson also took new turbocharger for a 10-place grid pen

Alonso’s engine change following his FP1 water leak also resulted in the 35-year-old Spaniard picking up a 35-place grid penalty for a new ICE, MGU-H, MGU-K, turbo, control electronics and energy store. Joining Hamilton and Alonso in post-FP1 power unit changes was Marcus Ericsson, who also took a new turbocharger and a 10-place grid pen.

Come the second stints of FP2, Force India sat one-two with Hulkenberg leading Perez by four-tenths of a second on the supersoft tyres. Ricciardo, though, demoted the Silverstone team as he moved top by three-tenths of a second while Vettel nestled into third.

Verstappen, meanwhile, demoted his team-mate soon after as he posted the fastest lap of the weekend so far. Max’s 1:48.085 would also have been enough for the second row of the grid last year.

Mercedes’ position in the leaderboard can be put down to the team opting not to run the supersoft compound during the second 90-minute session.

With his grid penalties and back of the grid start, Hamilton was focusing on the medium compound for his race simulation – whereas Rosberg ran on the softs. After 14-laps on the mediums, Hamilton reported he had “no more grip”.

In contrast to the Mercedes, Vettel was able to last 12-laps on a set of the supersofts before reporting “quite a lot of vibrations” and subsequently pitted

Mercedes junior driver and 2015 DTM champion, Pascal Wehrlein, having been bettered by his new Manor team-mate in FP1 sat within the top-10 during Fp2 while Ocon lingered down in 21st. By the close of play, Wehrlein’s position dropped to 11th, nine-tenths up on Haryanto’s replacement.

Pos Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Max Verstappen 27 1’48.085  —
2 Daniel Ricciardo 27 1’48.341 0.256
3 Nico Hulkenberg 30 1’48.657 0.572
4 Sebastian Vettel 27 1’49.023 0.938
5 Sergio Perez 27 1’49.100 1.015
6 Nico Rosberg 33 1’49.161 1.076
7 Kimi Raikkonen 30 1’49.244 1.159
8 Romain Grosjean 20 1’49.419 1.334
9 Jenson Button 23 1’49.419 1.334
10 Esteban Gutierrez 23 1’49.648 1.563
11 Pascal Wehrlein 31 1’49.716 1.631
12 Fernando Alonso 30 1’49.772 1.687
13 Lewis Hamilton 33 1’49.782 1.697
14 Daniil Kvyat 25 1’49.916 1.831
15 Marcus Ericsson 27 1’50.083 1.998
16 Valtteri Bottas 19 1’50.151 2.066
17 Felipe Massa 29 1’50.157 2.072
18 Carlos Sainz Jr. 25 1’50.194 2.109
19 Kevin Magnussen 34 1’50.375 2.290
20 Jolyon Palmer 32 1’50.562 2.477
21 Esteban Ocon 25 1’50.659 2.574
22 Felipe Nasr 24 1’50.719 2.634