Sainz overtakes Leclerc and Verstappen to lead Belgian GP FP1 – Formula 1 News


The day of Formula 1’s return to track activities, Friday (26) was a very busy morning at Spa-Francorchamps, home of the Belgian GP. The Audi announced that it arrivesAlfa Romeo confirmed that it will and Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are punished for exchanges of Red Bull and Ferrari in the engine. All this before the first free practice, which came later. And who got the best was Carlos Sainz.

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The Ferrari driver only had one chance to use the soft tires and he took advantage of it. Sainz ran in 1min46s538 with just over 20 minutes to go and beat Charles Leclerc, who was 0s069 slower, and Max Verstappen, 0s217 behind. Soon after, however, training was interrupted by Kevin Magnussen and, when it resumed, it came with rain.

In this way, Sainz is off to a good start to a weekend in which, with the penalties around, he has the status of great favorite next to Sergio Pérez. It remains to be seen how he will respond.

In the last minutes, with the rain, came the possibility of using intermediate tires, something that 18 drivers who will start on Sunday did. Valtteri Bottas spent most of FP1 stuck in the garage with problems, while Pierre Gasly turned AlphaTauri over to Liam Lawson.

Behind Sainz, Leclerc and Verstappen, George Russell, Lance Stroll, Alexander Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda, Lewis Hamilton and Pérez closed out the top-10.

O BIG PRIZE accompanies LIVE and IN REAL TIME all the activities of the Formula 1 Belgian GP. Soon, the second free practice is scheduled for 12:00 (Brasília, GMT-3).

Carlos Sainz started well in Spa (Photo: Ferrari)
Paddockast #162: F1 is back! The best — and worst — of the first half of 2022

Check out how TL1 went:

The first day of activities at the Formula 1 Belgian GP started full of news. Audi and Formula 1 made a joint announcement, in the paddock, of the long-awaited arrival of the German brand, scheduled for 2026. As Audi is expected to buy Sauber, Alfa Romeo made it official soon after that it leaves the team after 2023

Meanwhile, the teams decided on engine changes. The championship leaders suffered: both Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc would start from the back of the field. But there were more people: Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon, Mick Schumacher and Valtteri Bottas, for example. Because Spa is a track in which the engine defines a lot, it makes sense that several teams decide to accept the impact of punishments like this, since Holland comes soon after and presents a track with totally different characteristics.

Before training, the Stavelot region, where Spa is located, saw rain falling, but there was time to dry out the track. The ambient temperature was 18°C, while the sky was cloudy. More rain showers were indeed possibilities.

With the green flag showing and the first cars on the track, Alexander Albon and Carlos Sainz quickly made a point of underlining the visual impression: the track was really dry. Even in the opening moments, Nicholas Latifi’s Williams and Sergio Pérez’s Red Bull left small pieces of bodywork on the track. Nothing serious, but the dirt stayed there.

Valtteri Bottas had problems in FP1 (Photo: Alfa Romeo)

Sainz had the most competitive first lap – still slow, however –, 1min51s622. Meanwhile, Latifi was almost released on top of Max Verstappen in the pit lane. Sleep, Williams. Once the championship leader took to the track, he warmed up his tires and already clocked 1min47s456 on the opening fast lap.

Problems? They appeared to Esteban Ocon. The French driver warned Alpine that something was wrong. Ocon’s opinion was that the differential or gearbox was suffering and so he returned to the pits. Guanyu Zhou asked the team to prepare another helmet that he would change. According to the rookie, the head protection was lifting by itself on the straights.

Verstappen, already on soft tyres, continued to improve his time and clocked 1min46s755. Few people used the softs in the slightly longer than 20 minutes. Lewis Hamilton was 1s6 behind second in middleweight. Pérez, Leclerc and Sainz’s best laps had been on hard tyres. Only Verstappen, Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Ocon and Mick Schumacher had used the soft tyres.

A few seconds before the session reached the halfway mark, Albon also put on red track tires and jumped into second place. Verstappen, Albon, Hamilton, Pérez, Leclerc, Sainz, Russell, Ricciardo, Norris and Alonso formed the top-10.

Yuki Tsunoda opened the weekend complaints box. After watching the AlphaTauri car slide around the corner, he said the rear was locking up too easily. On the other hand, Bottas had something to complain about: after two installation laps, the Finn took the Alfa Romeo to the pits and, while the team was rummaging in the garage, appeared outside the cockpit. Never a good sign.

It’s good to remind the reader that this weekend is the first with updated guidelines to decrease car bouncing, but there was still a lot of bouncing going on.

Kevin Magnussen had problems (Photo: Playback)

Despite the festival of changes that resulted in punishments for the teams, the problems kept happening. Kevin Magnussen stopped Haas on the track at La Source corner. Electrical problems in the US team. Red flag in training and time lost for the crane to take the track to retrieve the bolide.

Shortly before that, however, Sainz put on the red tires and took the lead in FP1. The lap was 1min46s538, better than that of teammate Leclerc, also on the softs, who ran in 1min46s607. Verstappen was in third place, Russell was fourth and Lance Stroll was fifth. Sainz also had the most laps accumulated so far, 13, tied with Albon.

Another information about the weekend is that Pirelli has selected the intermediate range of tires for the weekend: the hard ones are the C2, with the C3 medium and the C4 soft.

After 14 minutes of red flags, training resumed with eight to go. A short time, and Red Bull was still warning Verstappen that there was a risk of rain in two minutes. Ferrari would follow the rapporteur to say the same. As reported, rain came in the middle region of the track.

There, along the Kemmel straight, the rain got heavy, causing even spray. It was the signal for the race in the pits and everyone to put on intermediate tires. The only person who didn’t go to the track with the green tires was Bottas, stopped in the garage. Even Liam Lawson, who trained in place of Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, came out with these. As far as the tip was concerned, however, nothing has changed. Sainz’s leadership.

F1 2022, Belgian GP, ​​Spa-Francorchamps, FP1:

1 C SAINZ Ferrari 1:46,538 16
two C LECLERC Ferrari 1:46,607 +0.069 16
3 M VERSTAPPEN red bull 1:46,755 +0.217 10
4 G RUSSELL mercedes 1:47,396 +0.858 13
5 L STROL Aston Martin Mercedes 1:47,437 +0,899 13
6 ALBON Williams Mercedes 1:47,835 +1,297 15
7 DRINCIARD McLaren Mercedes 1:48,081 +1,543 14
8 Y TSUNODA AlphaTauri Honda 1:48,310 +1,772 14
9 L HAMILTON mercedes 1:48,420 +1,882 10
10 S PEREZ red bull 1:48,474 +1,936 13
11 N LATIFI Williams Mercedes 1:48,485 +1,947 13
12 G ZHOU Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:48,672 +2,134 13
13 L NORRIS McLaren Mercedes 1:49,470 +2,932 13
14 F ALONSO alpine 1:49,664 +3,126 14
15 S VETTEL Aston Martin Mercedes 1:49,813 +3,275 12
16 AND OCON alpine 1:50,315 +3,777 5
17 K MAGNUSEN Haas Ferrari 1:50,982 +4,444 9
18 M SCHUMACHER Haas Ferrari 1:51,259 +4,721 12
19 L LAWSON AlphaTauri Honda 1:52,065 +5,527 14
20 V BOOTS Alfa Romeo Ferrari two

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