The second free pratice session of the Belgian GP saw some unusual names at the top of the timesheet. Verstappen came first, 0.048 seconds ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, as Lewis Hamilton came third, 0.096 seconds adrift. However according to the Redbull driver, it is not the sign he and his team are in the best position to secure the pole position coming Saturday.
Referring to Mercedes, Verstappen said "I personally think they're still struggling a bit with their balance". I expect them to be stronger tomorrow. You can see already on the long runs they are also very competitive".
Assessing his chances in qualifying, Verstappen added : "I'm not expecting to fight for pole position, but if we can be a bit closer, that would be good". He even anticipated that the Racing Point cars of Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll would be "very close" to Red Bull in qualifying. Perez finished FP2 in fifth place, less than four-tenths of a second off Verstappen's benchmark.
In the end, Verstappen looked quite satisfied about his runs in a dry session : "Of course it's still early days, but from our side, it's a good start". But of course some things still to work on of course for tomorrow, but overall, I'm pretty happy". It's never perfect. A racing car is never perfect. You always try to find things on the car where you can improve, so we'll look into that, also with tyre prep and everything." He also reflected on the importance of collecting enough data, despite the likelihood of changing weather conditions going ahead: "It was important to get some decent dry running today, even if the conditions change over the weekend, so we can find a good baseline. It’s never easy around Spa to find the perfect downforce level and you can see everyone trying different things, but I think we are in a reasonable place and we will find out tomorrow exactly where that puts us".