Crash-Heavy Session Sees Verstappen & Leclerc Interrupt FP2 at Spa With Red Flags

Published 08/27/2021, 10:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 27, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Johanna Geron


This weekend, F1 returns after a lengthy summer break at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit with the Belgian GP. Although Sunday provides the result that matters, drivers shook off any cobwebs which formed during the break in the second free practice session.

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With fans expecting the battle between Red Bull and Mercedes, they did not disappoint in FP2. Fighting for top spot on the timesheets, Max Verstappen narrowly edged out his competitors at Mercedes. However, the Dutchman, along with Charles Leclerc produced the biggest moments of the session by crashing in the same part of the track.

Max Verstappen shoots to the top of the timesheets in FP2 at the Belgian GP

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Crowd-favorite Verstappen put on a sizzling lap to take top spot in the final Friday practice session. Although he didn’t clock the fastest final sector, the Dutchman’s impeccable middle sector helped him go 0.041s faster than Valtteri Bottas, who finished second.

While the Dutchman set the fastest time, disaster struck just three minutes from the end. After the Les Combes sequence, Verstappen lost the rear end of his car, which caused him to crash.

Lewis Hamilton, who struggled massively in the first practice session earlier, finished third. Despite putting on an excellent lap, the Briton will need to extract more pace from his W12 to catch his Dutch rival.

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 27, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Sergio Perez, who will race for Red Bull in 2022, finished far behind in 10th place. Although neither team could properly test race pace, the Mexican will look to improve ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

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Charles Leclerc crashes at Les Combes

Arriving at the track where he won his first F1 race, Leclerc made a costly error at Turn 6. Right after the Kemmel straight, the Monegasque lost control of his car, which sent him into the barriers. The red flag waved after his incident caused a four-minute delay in the session.

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 27, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during practice REUTERS/Johanna Geron

Among the midfield contenders, Fernando Alonso stormed to P4 in the timesheets, with Pierre Gasly close behind in P5.

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Sanket Nair

624 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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