The first day of on-track action at the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix has already started and we have seen some surprises. In the first free practice session, Valtteri Bottas took the lead with Max Verstappen just 8 tenths of a second behind the Finnish driver’s time. As usual, the Dutch driver complained about vibrations in his tyres, in addition to the fact that the Belgian circuit is one in which tyre degradation is extremely high due to its long extension of just over 7 kilometres. During the second free practice session, Max finished as the fastest driver with a time of 1:43.711, while, surprisingly, Daniel Ricciardo finalized in second position just 0.048 seconds behind his former teammate. The French team had a bittersweet Friday since once Ricciardo had set his second-position time, his power unit had a hydraulic failure, so the Australian driver had a short session. Here are some statements from Daniel.
“It was another good FP2 as has been the case for us at the last few rounds. We have to do it tomorrow, though, as that’s when it counts. Today was strong, even with the issue at the end. For safety, we pulled the car over as there is no point in taking risks with mechanical issues on Fridays.” Admitted the Australian driver.
“Our low fuel run was a good one. During the lap, I knew it felt good and sometimes you just know when the car is working. I knew it was competitive and I wasn’t that surprised it was up there on the timesheets. It was a good day and we certainly understood a lot from it.” Daniel Ricciardo commented.
He seems confident as he felt his car extremely competitive. Renault and McLaren are constantly fighting for a place on the points. Even though, the French team suffered some mechanical problems, their car seems to be incredibly competitive and we might see them fighting for a place at the third row in tomorrow’s qualifying. Would be interesting to see how the teams, like McLaren, Renault, Racing Point and even Alpha Tauri, make changes into their cars so they can perform even better. A 70% chance of raining on Sunday’s race is expected so, if this happens, we could see a big surprise. It should be noted that Daniel did not have an engine failure, it was a hydraulic failure and the team also announced that the gearbox did not suffer any damage.