Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Leclerc moves ahead as Ferrari stay on top

2019 Belgian Grand Prix second practice

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Ferrari enjoyed another one-two in the second practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, but this time it was Charles Leclerc who led the way.

Leclerc easily out-paced team mate Sebastian Vettel, who ended up over six tenths of a second behind in second place.

Unlike in the first practice session Red Bull were not their closest threat. Max Verstappen complained of engine problems on two separate occasions, and ran wide at the chicane when he attempted a qualifying run. New team mate Alexander Albon was three-tenths of a second behind him – a troubling margin given how much time Verstappen’s mistake cost him.

That allowed the Mercedes pair to fill the next two positions, led by Valtteri Bottas. Lewis Hamilton was again only a few hundredths of a second behind, and was vexed by problems with his crash helmet, which he pitted to replace at one point.

Racing Point showed good pace again but their session came to a worrying ending as both drivers appeared to have overheating problems. Lance Stroll was first, complaining his seat was getting too hot.

Then Sergio Perez came to a stop with his car looking very smoke. “Engine” he reported before coming to stop a few minutes before the scheduled end of the session, which was then red-flagged. He has previously lapped just over a tenth of a second slower than Bottas.

Kimi Raikkonen set the seventh-fastest time, fractionally quicker than Stroll, while Daniel Ricciardo and Stroll completed the top 10.

Williams were again rooted to the bottom of the times, almost one-and-a-half seconds slower than any other car.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
116Charles LeclercFerrari1’44.12328
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1’44.7530.63030
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’44.9690.84628
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’45.0150.89226
511Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’45.1170.99425
633Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’45.3941.27120
77Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’45.7081.58525
818Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’45.7321.60921
93Daniel RicciardoRenault1’45.7351.61226
1023Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’45.7711.64821
1155Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’45.9991.87628
128Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’46.1201.99721
1327Nico HulkenbergRenault1’46.2092.08626
1426Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’46.2142.09124
154Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’46.2582.13529
1699Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’46.3282.20524
1710Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’46.3742.25128
1820Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’46.3992.27621
1963George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’47.8873.76430
2088Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’48.3314.20832

Second practice visual gaps

Charles Leclerc – 1’44.123

+0.630 Sebastian Vettel – 1’44.753

+0.846 Valtteri Bottas – 1’44.969

+0.892 Lewis Hamilton – 1’45.015

+0.994 Sergio Perez – 1’45.117

+1.271 Max Verstappen – 1’45.394

+1.585 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’45.708

+1.609 Lance Stroll – 1’45.732

+1.612 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’45.735

+1.648 Alexander Albon – 1’45.771

+1.876 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’45.999

+1.997 Romain Grosjean – 1’46.120

+2.086 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’46.209

+2.091 Daniil Kvyat – 1’46.214

+2.135 Lando Norris – 1’46.258

+2.205 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’46.328

+2.251 Pierre Gasly – 1’46.374

+2.276 Kevin Magnussen – 1’46.399

+3.764 George Russell – 1’47.887

+4.208 Robert Kubica – 1’48.331

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2019 Belgian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Leclerc moves ahead as Ferrari stay on top”

  1. Duncan Snowden
    30th August 2019, 15:53

    Oof. After FP1, I thought maybe Williams’s poor pace was just due to Russell not being in the car. But oh, dear. That’s brutal. Roll on Singapore.

    Nice job by Perez and Kimi, though! Here’s hoping that carries through to Sunday…

  2. Given the strength of the engine in the back, that Williams must go down as one of the worst cars in F1 history, right?

    1. They’re not even the worst car of the decade (HRT and Marussia had worse), let alone of all F1 history, check out Andrea Moda’s S921 if you want to laugh.

      1. Not to mention the Life L190…

        1. Yes, the Life team logo is my thumbnail image! That was the real F1 reject!

      2. HRT and Marrusia did not have the pedigree of Williams, a multi championship winning team, and were also fairly new to the sport.

    2. @joeypropane, as others have noted, it’s not even remotely close to that title – there have been some shockingly bad cars that have been entered into Formula 1 over the years.

      The Life L190, as Ludwig_M notes, was fantastically bad – that was the one where James Allen stated that the only way of imagining what it sounded like was to fill a metal dustbin with random nuts and bolts before kicking it down a set of stairs. It was built from a scrapped Formula 3000 chassis – scrapped because it had failed its original crash tests – with an engine that, at best, probably had two thirds of the power of most other engines on the grid.

      The car was barely faster than a Formula 3 car – in fact, I think it was sometimes even slower than that – and the car was so unreliable that it never managed to do more than eight consecutive laps. Giacomelli admitted that, at the German Grand Prix around the old Hockenheim circuit, he was so slow in a straight line that he was terrified that somebody would crash into the back of him.

      The Andrea Moda that has also been mentioned is another famous effort, and indeed the early 1990s saw a huge number of disastrously bad cars. There’s the Onyx ORE-1B, where towards the end of the season, the team were resorting to using random old parts from the sportscar collection of Peter Monteverdi, the team owner, to keep the car going, with Karl Foitek declaring the car a “death trap” and stopping his son, Gregor Foitek, from driving it because he thought he was going to be killed, so badly built was that car.

      There are a whole heap of other cars too – the Coloni C3 and C4 from 1990 and 1991, the EuroBrun 189B from 1990 and the Lola T97/30 from 1997 – the latter of which also falls into the category of “unbelievably bad”, having been five seconds off even making the 107% rule in the few races it took part in. There is also the 1989 AGS JH23B, which has the rather more macabre distinction of being the car that left Philippe Streiff a quadriplegic after a testing accident.

      Those are just some of the cars that are from more recent years – you can go back to earlier years and find other cars that were similarly dreadful. The current Williams might be a bad car compared to the rest of the grid, but by historical standards it is not even remotely close to getting on the list of truly terrible F1 cars.

      1. Yes, those were the times! That’s why I rank one of the greatest all time achievements the Monaco qualifying lap from Roberto Moreno in an Andrea Moda, it was awesome that he managed to put this car on the grid for a race. He later told that once he knew they made the pre qualify, he asked for his former Benetton mechanics if he could borrow some elf qualifying spec fuel from Benetton, which they did. He said he only had enough fuel for one flying lap, and he nailed it. He said that when he entered the pits he could see all mechanics from all teams applauding him for his efforts. Magic!

      2. Very informative as usual anon. Thanks.

      3. Great post @anon, what a fun read !

    3. They’re four seconds off the top time. A couple decades ago 5th on the grid would be 4 seconds at Belgium.

  3. Sadly, i’m struggling to think of worse, there must be some example somewhere.

  4. Lec almost 1 second quicker than Mercedes in the first sector. What a great engine Ferrari have produced which is far ahead the most powerful.
    Now Lec and Vet should finish the job and anything less than a win would be an embarrassment.

    1. Between Ferrari overperforming in practice and Mercedes underperforming, they are about even.

    2. All of that goes away in the slow corners, the rest of the car it’s their own too… so I don’t see any embarrassment. Overall, it’s a not a great car, barely a winning car in certain days. But, I’d wait for the Quali before making any serious judgement, simply because 1sec in just 1 sector faster than Mercedes doesn’t seem natural. They may have the best PU at the moment, but not by that kind of margin more than sure.

  5. Just 0.2sec faster than last year’s FP1, but 0.8sec slower than last year’s FP2.

    1. Which shows they are all holding back something in reserve even now…

    2. It’s really weird. Seems like the tyres Pirelli brought to Spa this year are quite a bit harder than last year.
      Teams were struggling to get any sort of laptime out of the Mediums and there’s quite a big lap time delta between Soft and Medium (1 sec, if not more).

      It was a strange session: Not much track-evolution (if at all), Verstappen not able to improve on his quali-sim on the Softs (despite them being a lot faster), Mercedes a long way down in S1 (almost a full second to Leclerc), Perez a lot faster than expected (quicker long runs than Ferrari!!).

      Ferrari are favourites for qualy (but they will certainly find a way to blow it again), while Mercedes should have the faster car in the race.

  6. Kimi in top 7 [with a pulled muscle!!]
    You have to feel bad for Ericsson, missing his nascar for nothing

    1. Lol at NASCAR.

      1. Errr…IndyCar, no?

    2. Man, I hope we get a chaotic race, maybe with some rain. I put 10 € on a Kimi win and that would pay out 1:1000.

  7. Mercedes may improve around 1s tomorrow at Q3. They usually do.

    So If Ferrari gave It ALL today, they’re even.

    But most important is Race pace, everybody’s goal today. And we saw times from 1’49 to 1’51. Mercedes and Ferrari around 1’50.

    I hope things do not end up by being a lift and coast fuel saving game on Sunday.

  8. So let’s assume Ferrari can lock out the front row* but Mercedes have quicker race pace. How are they going to overtake, the Ferrari seems so quick on the straights.

    * Not sure they can.

    Where is Red Bull?

    1. @davidjwest
      They don’t have to make the overtake on track. Depending how much faster they are in the race, they can just undercut them.

      Strange session from Red Bull. Verstappen was flying on the Mediums (taking 0.6 out of Leclerc in S2), but couldn’t better his time on the faster tyres, while Leclerc improved by over a second.

      1. Yes I am aware of strategy but undercutting both Ferraris might not be an option. Could be an interesting race, hopefully!

  9. Friends, let’s see what tomorrow brings.
    Both Mercs will be 5 tenths ahead by the end of fp3

  10. Chance of raing keeps increasing, 50% now just before the race. Wet/dry race would be fun!

  11. Then Sergio Perez came to a stop with his car looking very [smokey].

    I’m guessing this is the new Mercedes engine. I found a picture of the RP19 with a comment that it had overheated. I don’t know if this means a replacement engine or not.

Comments are closed.