Belgian GP – Practice 2: Max Verstappen in front, Daniel Ricciardo second

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Mercedes finished third and sixth on Friday, with Red Bull the fastest; Ricciardo takes second place for Renault before parking with a problem; But Ferrari struggles and finishes well outside the top 10

Last updated: 08/28/20 16:07 pm

Max Verstappen finished a promising time for Red Bull on an intriguing opening day of the Belgian GP practice, while Mercedes was also behind Daniel Ricciardo for the Renault surprise package.

Ferrari, expecting a tough weekend a year after dominating at Spa, finished in modest 15th and 17th positions – a world far from their usual rivals of recent years.

Mercedes remain favorites for the weekend, but the fit Verstappen nonetheless took the lead in the afternoon with a fastest lap of 1: 43.744. It was 0.096 seconds faster than Lewis Hamilton, who was the first Mercedes driver in third position.

But it was Ricciardo’s second place for Renault that was the biggest surprise of the session. The Australian was just 0.048 seconds off Verstappen’s pace.

However, Ricciardo ran into problems 20 minutes from time when the team asked him to park his car on the side of the track. Renault later confirmed it was a precautionary measure after the RS20 suffered a loss of hydraulic pressure.

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Renault confirms having stopped Daniel Ricciardo’s car as a precaution after a loss of hydraulic pressure

Renault confirms having stopped Daniel Ricciardo’s car as a precaution after a loss of hydraulic pressure

Alex Albon, who struggled to get a single-lap pace compared to Verstappen, finished fourth in the second Red Bull, just ahead of Sergio Perez with the fast Racing Points showing good speed again.

Bottas had set the pace for Hamilton in the morning but failed to maximize his qualifying simulation and slipped to sixth place ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and second Renault Esteban Ocon.

Ferrari endured a Friday to forget about one of F1’s most power-sensitive tracks.

A year after Charles Leclerc’s dominant pole-double at Spa, the Monegasque finished 15th with his teammate Sebastian Vettel 17th.

The six Ferrari-powered cars were in the bottom eight, with the factory Scuderia team behind Alfa Romeo.

More soon…

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