Going into the weekend with all eyes on the hard battle, Lewis stood at P18 in FP1. His Mercedes teammate, Bottas topped the time sheet with 1:44.19 with Max only 0.16 seconds behind him at P2. Being the longest circuit of the 2021 season, Spa-Francorchamps had a peaky weather today with heavy clouds and a dry track.
Back on the tracks
The first driver going for a timed lap on the high downforce track of Spa was Lando Norris on a set of mediums. On the other hand, Daniel Ricciardo (P12) was separated from his teammate with the Alpine drivers and the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll between them. Lewis Hamilton struggled with his speed, “Feels massively slow on the straights.”, he said. Furthermore, Sebastian Vettel (P7) showed a good pace and Pierre Gasly came third in the FP1 of the Belgian Grand Prix.
How the tyres rolled out
There were few wet patches at the start of the session making the teams opt for the intermediate tyres. Soon after hitting the track, they changed their call and went for the mediums. The majority of the session saw drivers rolling in their yellow tyres with the softs only to be brought out near the end. With rain in the air, tyre management will be a key in the coming days. We may see drivers tiptoeing around to save their intermediates from getting damaged especially at the edges.
The flags and the lockups at FP1
Kimi Räikkönen (Alpha Romeo) and the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda spun at the same place in Sector 1 bringing out the first yellow flags after the summer break. Mick Schumacher who wore a special helmet to mark his father’s debut anniversary had a big lockup. At Turn 7, Charles Leclerc went onto the gravel trap because of a massive understeer. The current leader of the Drivers’ Championship, Lewis Hamilton also had a moment with the Williams of Nicholas Latifi. His failed attempt to get a proper tow from Latifi affected his lap time. Moreover, there were double yellow flags for a pitlane incident where Kimi ended up clipping a bit of his car.
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