Charles Leclerc topped the timesheet in the second free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, eclipsing Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel by more than six tenths of a second and running more than eight tenths quicker than the third placed Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
After being edged out of P1 by Vettel in the morning session Leclerc quickly moved to the top of the order in the afternoon, going quickest in the early phases run on medium-tyres.
Vettel was the first to move to soft tyres and attempt a performance run and while the German’s time of 1:44.753 briefly gave him P1, Leclerc soon bypassed that benchmark with an impressive lap of 1:44.123 that put him 0.630 clear of his team-mate.
Vettel went for another attempt but a flawed first sector put paid to his chance of overhauling his younger team-mate.
Bottas got closest to the pacesetting Ferraris and the Finn’s best time of 1:44.969 saw him finish a little over two tenths of a second behind Vettel, but 0.846s off Leclerc. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton ended up in fourth sport a little under five hundredths of a second behind his team-mate.
Sergio Pérez looked like continuing Racing Point’s positive start to the weekend as he rose from P9 in the morning session to P5 in the second session, posting a good time of 1:45.117 to finish as the last man within a second of Leclerc. However, after 25 laps of the circuit in total Pérez’s session ended in smokey fashion as he suffered what looked like a power unit issue.
Sixth place went to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. After finishing third in the morning, the Dutchman was strangely off the pace in the second session and ended up 1.271s behind Leclerc as he complained of power delivery issues.
Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen took seventh place with a time of 1:45.708, though the Finn was just over two hundredths of a second quicker than Lance Stroll in the second Racing Point.
Daniel Ricciardo finished ninth for Renault and 10thplace in the session went to new Red Bull Racing recruit Alex Albon who finished 1.648 off Leclerc’s pace and four tenths adrift of Red Bull team-mate Verstappen.
2019 FIA Formula One Belgian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 28 1:44.123
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 30 1:44.753 0.630
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 28 1:44.969 0.846
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 26 1:45.015 0.892
5 Sergio Perez Racing Point 25 1:45.117 0.994
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 20 1:45.394 1.271
7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 25 1:45.708 1.585
8 Lance Stroll Racing Point 21 1:45.732 1.609
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 26 1:45.735 1.612
10 Alex Albon Red Bull Racing 21 1:45.771 1.648
11 Carlos Sainz McLaren 28 1:45.999 1.876
12 Romain Grosjean Haas 21 1:46.120 1.997
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 26 1:46.209 2.086
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 24 1:46.214 2.091
15 Lando Norris McLaren 29 1:46.258 2.135
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 24 1:46.328 2.205
17 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 28 1:46.374 2.251
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas 21 1:46.399 2.276
19 George Russell Williams 30 1:47.887 3.764
20 Robert Kubica Williams 32 1:48.331 4.208