It’s qualifying day at the Belgian GP. Formula 1 opened work this Saturday (27) with the third free practice at the Spa-Francorchamps track. Low temperature, around 15°C, cloudy skies and cars trying to get right with the heating of tires on the track. It ended up being a very slow training session and without great emotions, but enough to leave with the feeling that Red Bull has some advantage against Ferrari. This time, however, it was Sergio Pérez who took the lead.
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Pérez actually surpassed teammate Max Verstappen with just the clock reset. The Mexican put 1min45s047 on the clock and responded to Verstappen’s almost certain advantage: he was 0s137 faster. Ferrari stayed away. Carlos Sainz finished third, but 0s777 behind. In a reality where Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are punished, Pérez launches himself as the favorite in the fight against Sainz.
Following Sainz, Lando Norris managed to put McLaren in the position of best of the rest. Fernando Alonso was fifth, but already ahead of Pérez by 1s. George Russell, Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly closed out the top-10. Lewis Hamilton was 12th.
Leclerc made a mistake with less than ten minutes to go in practice and caused a brief red flag. It happened in turn two, where he spun on his own and ended up lightly touching the tire barrier. It was enough to damage the endplate and having to change the wing, but nothing that does more damage for the weekend.
O BIG PRIZE accompanies LIVE and IN REAL TIME all activities of the Formula 1 Belgian GP. Qualifying is scheduled for later, at 11 am [de Brasília, GMT-3].
Check out how LT3 went:
The third and final free practice for the Belgian GP arrived with the temperature and general mood of something that was happening really early in the morning, although in local time it was well into the early afternoon at 1pm local time. The temperature was 15°C in the Belgian summer, often quite hot, with cloudy skies. It was time to take to the track for the first time on Saturday.
Despite the low chance of rain on the day, the chance was a little higher during FP3 than in qualifying. But the true flag with everything dry.
Lewis Hamilton was the first to take to the track when permission arrived. Although it wasn’t one of those activities where the track fills up right away, no team wanted to hold the riders too tight. Over the first ten minutes, in homeopathic doses, 17 of the 20 riders left the pit lane. Only Kevin Magnussen, who had problems in FP1 and had to change the car’s battery, and the Ferrari duo remained stationary.
Guanyu Zhou and Valtteri Bottas, in that order, put Alfa Romeo in the first two positions. The Chinese had a time of 1min47s795 on soft tyres. The vast majority of those appearing on the track chose the soft tyres. The different ones were Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Lando Norris, in tough, and Pierre Gasly and Mick Schumacher, in middleweight.
It is important to always remember that the mid-range was chosen by Pirelli for this weekend in Belgium. So the tires C2, C3 and C4 were, in this order, the hard, medium and soft.
With less than 20 minutes of a stopped practice, the information emerged that Alfa Romeo changed Zhou’s entire gearbox and, therefore, the rookie would be one of those punished for the race.
The start was reasonably busy on the track, although nothing much was registered. A slip there with Mick Schumacher, an Alfa Romeo lead here, but after the first 20 minutes the track was practically empty. That’s when Magnussen decided to test drive the Haas car and finally left.
As one Haas appeared on the track, the other appeared buried in the garage. In the English TV broadcast, team boss Guenther Steiner claimed that Schumacher had a problem with a sensor in the car that the mechanics were trying to fix.
With almost half the session, Ferrari finally sent its two drivers to the track. On soft tyres, the laps were competitive. Especially for Carlos Sainz, which was no surprise, as the Spaniard has his eyes on pole. Charles Leclerc, punished, starts far from the front.
After 30 minutes of session, the top-10 had Sainz, Alexander Albon, Leclerc, Magnussen, Zhou, Bottas, Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Nicholas Latifi.
Details for the fast Williams, competitive in training. Soon after, however, Hamilton made the fourth time and was joined by Red Bull. Sergio Pérez passed strongly and reduced Sainz’s time, taking over the lead. A few minutes later, Verstappen. The Worlds leader slipped in the middle of the lap, seemed to lose time, but crossed in 1min45s480 to take the lead.
Still without any curious or very noteworthy events, the training had some improvements in time. Norris jumped to second place before Sainz’s new attempt. The Spaniard was faster than Leclerc since the beginning of the weekend.
Williams, even with a lot of people improving around her, managed to hold on to the top ten.
All this until there are ten minutes to go. That’s when Leclerc lost control of the car around turn two, spun and ended up in the gravel. He even touched the tire barrier, but told Ferrari that he didn’t think the car was damaged – but it was without the endplate right of the front wing. He even managed to get the car out by himself to the pits. But a red flag came anyway.
After four minutes stopped, the training was resumed with another four to the end. It was all the time Pérez needed. With the clock reset, he surpassed Verstappen’s time and took the lead that gives him the status of favorite for pole.
F1 2022, Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps, FP3:
|1||S PEREZ||red bull||1:45,047||19|
|two||M VERSTAPPEN||red bull||1:45,184||+0.137||19|
|4||L NORRIS||McLaren Mercedes||1:45,965||+0.918||20|
|8||S VETTEL||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:46,166||+1,119||18|
|10||P GASLY||AlphaTauri Honda||1:46,604||+1,557||19|
|13||N LATIFI||Williams Mercedes||1:46,811||+1,764||20|
|15||V BOOTS||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:46,881||+1,834||20|
|16||L STROL||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:46,975||+1,928||16|
|17||K MAGNUSEN||Haas Ferrari||1:46,982||+1,935||14|
|18||Y TSUNODA||AlphaTauri Honda||1:47,035||+1,988||23|
|19||G ZHOU||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:47,089||+2,042||20|
|20||M SCHUMACHER||Haas Ferrari||1:52,494||+7,447||6|
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