Max Verstappen has set the quickest lap time on Saturday afternoon at Spa Francorchamps in FP3. On a wet track that became drier over time and wetter again towards the end, the Dutchman and Red Bull were quick on the intermediate tires.
In the beginning, almost everyone put on intermediates, except for the Haas drivers. Of those, Mazepin was already off, sliding into the asphalt run-off zone at Bruxelles. But he was not the only driver with a spin at this point. Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel also went straight at the start, and at Les Combes, they went into the runoff area.
One detail also stood out – Red Bull had fitted an even smaller rear wing to Max Verstappen’s RB16B. This was definitely smaller than Perez’s and Mercedes’. As a result, Verstappen set the best time in sectors 1 and 3 and took the lead with a lap time of 1:56.924, which he did not relinquish. Surprisingly, Hamilton was more than one second behind. Perez then moved up to P2 ahead of the Brit.
The rain increased again briefly in the last 15-20 minutes and therefore faster laps were no longer possible during this time. “The track needs full wets again,” said Sainz.
In the last 10 minutes, it became drier again and the rain disappeared from the racing line. However, the race track was still too wet to improve lap times.
Shortly before the end, Pierre Gasly spun. He hit an exit notch and did a 360-degree spin onto the grass and back onto the track, but did not have any damage. Lando Norris did another lap on soft tires with 3 minutes to go, but he was losing grip and left it at that. Max Verstappen thus claimed the fastest time in the wet practice.
The top 10 of the Belgian GP FP3:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1:56.924|
|2||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||+0.947|
|6||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+2.281|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+2.512|