After the summer break, the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship started again with yesterday's free practice on the Belgian circuit in Spa, and with the usual fight between Mercedes and Red Bull.
In the first two free practice sessions, Max Verstappen performed better than everyone and preceded, albeit slightly, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, the latter who in any case will not be able to start from pole due to a penalty of 5 positions to be served on the grid, due to the accident caused during the last GP in Budapest.
The Dutchman performed well, ahead of everyone, also today, and confirmed to be the fastest even on the wet track.
For the weekend the two teams have chosen different configurations, Mercedes was faster in the first sector, but slower in the middle one.
Yesterday's Leclerc and Verstappen accidents prevented the drivers from trying the car loaded with fuel, tests that were instead carried out today.
11.50: Very wet track in Spa due to the heavy rain that hit the Ardennes. It will be a difficult FP3 session, given the circumstances
12.00: Green light in Spa. The asphalt temperature is 15 degrees, it's not raining, but the track is very wet. The cars could start with intermediates or full wet.
12.03: Russell, Ocon, Mazepin and Mick Schumacher are the first four drivers on track, followed by Ferraris. All with intermediate or full wet tires given the temperatures and the track conditions. Leclerc sets the best time in 2’02″361, Latifi is behind by 2″441 and Russell by 3″185.
12.12: The track is drying rather quickly, but not as much to use the slicks. Hamilton takes the lead with a time of 1’57 ″ 996 ahead of Gasly by 1″328 and Russell by 1″496. Sainz is now sixth and Leclerc 8th.
12.20: 12.20: Max Verstappen takes the first position with a time of 1’56″924, second teammate Sergio Perez and third Hamilton. Norris is now 4th. Ferrari seems to be struggling with balance once again, the wet track is not helping: 12th place for Sainz and 14th for Leclerc.
12.35: Ocon, in 5th position, is still on track with his Alpine. Giovinazzi is 18th and Raikkonen is 20th. In the meantime it started to rain again and therefore, probably, the times will not improve.
12.41: Few drivers on track. The teams are thinking to manage the remaining tyres in view of tomorrow's race, as they are quite limited in number.
12.54: Red Bull is already working for qualifying with the two drivers who have finished the session.
12.56: Spin without consequences for Gasly in the second sector.FP3 is about to end, with a confirmation of Verstappen's strength, and big difficulties for Ferrari.
13.00: End of FP3. Max Verstappen is confirmed to be very fast even in wet conditions. The Dutchman of Red Bullended the session with a time of 1’56 "924, preceding his teammate Sergio Perez by 0" 971 and the British driver of Mercedes Lewis Hamilton by 1 "072. Lewis remedied an important gap, but it must be said that Max completed his lap 10 'later and in better track conditions. Therefore a nice confrontation is expected between the two in view of qualifying at 15.00.