The first day of Free Practices in Belgium has been all red coloured, as Sebastian Vettel topped the standings in the morning, while Charles Leclerc signed the fastest lap time in FP2.
The Prancing Horse has brought several aerodynamic updates here in Belgium, as the third engine upgrade will be introduced in Monza.
Who knows if the risk will pay here in Belgium, where the SF90 should performe better? We will find out this afternoon in Qualifying.
This session is the last one before Qualifying, which will decide the starting grid, but there is something we already know about it: thanks to their penalties for new engine upgrades, Lance Stroll (Racing Point), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Alexander Albon (Red Bull Racing) will start from the back of the grid. Thanks to their new ICE component, Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo (both Renault) and Carlos Sainz (McLaren) will give everything in Quali, has they hit a 5 position penalty on the grid.
The real action kicks off after 15 minutes: the first fastest time is scored by Charles Leclerc, 1.44.789s, 6 tenths slower than yesterday's best time. He is soon followed by Sebastian Vettel, replaying yesterday's 1-2, both wearing C3 tyres.
After 30 minutes the first Mercedes time is set: Valtteri Bottas places himself in 3rd position, 5 tenths behind Vettel, while Lewis Hamilton is 4th, 9 tenths behind. Sergio Perez follows in 5th, strong after yesterday's announcement of his 3 years contract with Racing Point.
What seemed a normal and almost boring session is interrupted, after 32 minutes, by a Red Flag caused by Lewis Hamilton: the Briton crashed into the barriers during his first Quali simulation lap at Turn 12. A lot of work for the Mercedes mechanics to get the W10 ready for Quali. The 5 time World Champion is okay and soon comes back to the garage.
After what the team has described as a "rare mistake from Lewis", meaning there were no problems of the car, the session restarts after the barriers inspections.
With 12 minutes left, everyone goes out wearing Soft tyres. Leclerc takes back the first position, scoring a 1.44.206s, 4 tenths ahed of his team mate. Everyone improves, especially Daniel Ricciardo, who places his Renault in 4th position, 7 tenths slower than Leclerc.
The FP3 session closes with another 1-2 for Ferrari, and Hamilton crash makes things interesting for the Pole Position hunt.
Here is the complete classification at the end of FP3 in Spa - Francorchamps.