With the wet track, the Red Bull emerges. Max Verstappen loaded the rear wing of the RB16B in the third and final free practice session of the Belgian GP, mounting a straight movable flap, and, despite this choice, the Dutchman was the fastest in the first and third sections of the Spa-Francorchamps track, leaving the supremacy in the central one to his teammate, Sergio Perez, overturning the values of yesterday that favored Mercedes in the long straights.
Verstappen was the only one to break through the wall of 1’57 “with intermediate tires, arriving at 1’56” 924: the renewed teammate, Sergio Perez, is second but with an important gap of 947 thousandths. The Mexican did better than Lewis Hamilton in third by over a second, a sign that the balance that we saw yesterday with the dry, seems to have jumped on the water in favor of the Red Bulls.
Max canceled yesterday afternoon’s bang with a very convincing performance, while Mercedes does not seem as good as Valtteri Bottas finished the session in 11th place with a gap of 2 “884 from the Dutchman.
Brackley’s team has to work: when the W12s tried to push they ended up long on the escape route. An interesting performance by Lando Norris who brought McLaren to fourth place with a time of 1’58 “509 ahead of Esteban Ocon with Alpone and Lance Stroll with Aston Martin. when a ray of sunshine appeared, he decided to take a lap with the soft compound slicks: a very risky choice that gave him several thrills and that advised him to return to the pits immediately.
More was expected from Pierre Gasly with the AlphaTauri: the Frenchman is seventh after a harmless spin, while Yuki Tsunoda is only 17th: the Japanese has avoided getting into trouble and this is already positive.
Sebastian Vettel is eighth with the “verdona” in front of an excellent George Russell who is increasingly in the odor of moving to Mercedes: the Englishman is ninth with a good Nicholas Latifi 12th. The feeling is that Williams has made a qualitative leap and that Hungary’s points have not been a coincidence.
Bad for the Ferraris relegated to the role of supporting actors: the technicians of Maranello hoped that the Red could behave better in the wet, but the result that emerged is negative. The two drivers continued to complain about the endemic understeer affecting the SF21s: Carlos Sainz is 14th and Charles Leclerc even 16th. That of the Cavallino is an uphill weekend, which started badly yesterday with the crash of the Monegasque which required the replacement of Leclerc’s frame. So let’s not expect too much from the Scuderia, which has to grit its teeth on a track that was declared to be difficult for the Maranello car.
Good performance by Mick Schumacher 15th with the Haas: the German slipped between the two reds, while Nikita Mazepin is only 19th with a gap of half a second. Bad Alfa Romeos: Antonio Giovinazzi is 18th, while Kimi Raikkonen is last: the difficult weekend of the Finn continues, who covered only three laps due to a brake problem that was not resolved quickly. The team from Hinwil is in a phase of free fall …