FP1: Sainz heads a Ferrari one-two in opening practice at Spa

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Belgium, Circuit de Spa-Francorchampsbe

Despite a dominant showing from reigning world champion Max Verstappen at the start of the session, Carlos Sainz ended up fastest in the opening practice for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, pipping his teammate Charles Leclerc in a rain-affected session.

When the session started, drivers did not hesitate any time to head out on to the 7.004km Spa-Francorchamps track to kick off the last leg of the 2022 F1 season. The weather also played a part, serving as a driving force in motivating drivers to roll out quickly with clouds gathering over the track and some raindrops making conditions tricky.

Drivers used the intermediate tyres in the first minutes of the session to complete their installation laps. However, the rain stayed away and drivers could enjoy a dry track during their first proper run. Max Verstappen was the only one among the top drivers to use Pirelli’s red-walled soft tyres. The Dutchman posted a 1m46.755s at the end of his first run which was over a second and a half quicker than what his rivals managed at that point of the session.

However, when drivers headed out for their second run, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz clocked a 1m 46.538s on the softs to finish 0.069s clear of Leclerc. Verstappen finished the session third fastest as he was unable to complete a lap on his second set of fresh softs after an incoming rain shower made conditions tricky for the dying minutes of the session.

The first race weekend after the summer break did not start smoothly for Valtteri Bottas failed to set a time due to engine problems.

The session was not trouble-free for Kevin Magnussen either with the Dane driver encoutering relaibility issues with 20 minutes to go. The Haas driver was told to stop his car on the hill down to Eau Rouge-Raidillon for which the session was red flagged. The American team suggested that the problem was down to a high voltage issue.

155Carlos SainzFerrari1:46.53816
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:46.607+0.069s16
31Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:46.755+0.217s10
463George RussellMercedes1:47.396+0.858s13
518Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:47.437+0.899s13
623Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:47.835+1.297s15
73Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:48.081+1.543s14
822Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:48.310+1.772s16
944Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:48.420+1.882s10
1011Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:48.474+1.936s13
116Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:48.485+1.947s13
1224Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:48.672+2.134s15
134Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:49.470+2.932s15
1414Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:49.664+3.126s17
155Sebastian VettelAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:49.813+3.275s12
1631Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:50.315+3.777s5
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:50.982+4.444s9
1847Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:51.259+4.721s15
1940Liam LawsonAlphatauri Rbpt1:52.065+5.527s14
2077Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari2