Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) set the best time of the only free practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, the twelfth of the Formula One World Cup, which takes place at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, where it was hardly filmed, due to the rain; and in which the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) marked the fifth time and the other Spanish, Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), the eleventh.
In the only session of the third Grand Prix of the year that is held in a sprint format, five of the twenty drivers -among them the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), very prominent leader of the championship- They didn’t even mark time.
Sainz covered, in the ‘best’ of his nine laps, the 7,004 meters of the longest track in the World Championship in two minutes, three seconds and 207 thousandths, 585 less than the Australian Oscar Piastri and with a second and 287 thousandths of an advantage over the other McLaren, that of English Lando Norris; who, in the same way as his partner, spun four times and set the third time trial of the useless and chaotic session. Like the previous ones, with the intermediate tire.
‘Checo’ did five laps and was just over five seconds behind. Alonso spun four times and his time beat Sainz’s by just over seven seconds.
The only practice session for a Grand Prix with a sprint format was interrupted, for just over ten minutes, with a red flag; since, after going off track several times, the American Logan Sargeant lost control of his Williams, which aquaplaned and crashed slightly in Les Combes, in the highest area of the beautiful track in the Ardennes.
As it continued to rain, the teams decided not to go out on the track until with twelve minutes to go the Red Bull of Verstappen and ‘Checo’ did it, second in the contest, 110 of the 281 points with which the previous one commands. Subsequently, the Aston Martins of the Asturian double world champion and Canadian Lance Stroll did it, which, like the previous ones, barely did one lap, without setting a time.
In fact, Alonso’s teammate was one of the five who did not record a time in the only free session for the last Grand Prix before the holidays.
Except for last-minute changes, caused by rainfall, the qualifying session for Sunday’s race will take place from five in the afternoon (15:00 GMT).
– Time table of the only free practice for the Belgian GP:
.1. Carlos Sainz ESP Ferrari 2:03,20
.2. Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren at 0.585
.3. Lando Norris GBR McLaren 1,277
.4. Charles Leclerc MON Ferrari 4,941
.5. Sergio Perez MEX Red Bull 5,033
.6. Alexander Albon THA Williams 5,187
.7. Yuki Tsunoda JPN Alpha Tauri 5,860
.8. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas 6,022
.9. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Alpha Tauri 6,112
10. Nico Hulkenberg GER Haas 6,835
11. Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin 7,076
12. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 7,092
13. George Russell GBR Mercedes 7,268
14. Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo 8,878
15. Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo 10,795
16. Logan Sargeant USA Williams out of time
17. Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin st
18. Pierre Gasly FRA Alpine st
19. Esteban Ocon FRA Alpine st
20. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull st