F1 – Sainz quickest in FP1 in Belgium as penalties take a toll

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz topped the timesheet in the opening practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix as F1 returned to action after its traditional summer break. Sainz finished 0.069 ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc and just over two tenths of a second ahead of Drivers’ World Championship leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing. 

However, both Leclerc and Verstappen will face grid drops on Sunday as they joined a number of drivers in taking PU-related penalties at Spa-Francorchamps. The title-contending pair will be joined at the back of the field by McLaren’s Lando Norris, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Haas’ Mick Schumacher and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas who also took fresh PU elements beyond their seasonal allocation. 

In the session, Sainz opened proceedings in slightly damp conditions with a lap of 1: 51.622 on hard compound tyres. The Spaniard was soon beaten to top spot by Norris and his McLaren team-mate Daniel Riccardo, before Verstappen then went out and went several seconds quicker, with the Dutch driver stopping the clock at 1:46.755 on softs tyres. 

As the session approached the halfway mark, Williams’ Alex Albon then jumped to second place ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton thanks to a lap of 1:48.112. Sainz then moved back to top spot with a lap of 1:46.538, beating Verstappen’s time by two tenths of a second. Leclerc slotted into second place, just 0.069s behind his team-mate. 

The session was red-flagged with 22 minutes remaining when Haas’ Kevin Magnussen ground to a halt at the exit of the La Source hairpin. It took some time for his car to be recovered and when the session resumed there were just nine minutes left on the clock. 

However, the misty rain then became a light drizzle and with a few minutes left a heavier rain shower erased any hope of a late improvement. 

Mercedes’ George Russell finished fourth ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, while Albon held on to sixth place. Ricciardo finished seventh, followed by AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, Hamilton and the top 10 order was rounded out by Sergio Pérez in the second Red Bull. 

2022 FIA Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:46.538 16 236.670
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:46.607 0.069 16 236.517
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:46.755 0.217 10 236.189
4 George Russell Mercedes 1:47.396 0.858 13 234.779
5 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:47.437 0.899 13 234.690
6 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:47.835 1.297 15 233.823
7 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:48.081 1.543 14 233.291
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:48.310 1.772 16 232.798
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:48.420 1.882 10 232.562
10 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:48.474 1.936 13 232.446
11 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:48.485 1.947 13 232.422
12 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:48.672 2.134 15 232.022
13 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:49.470 2.932 15 230.331
14 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:49.664 3.126 17 229.924
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:49.813 3.275 12 229.612
16 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:50.315 3.777 5 228.567
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:50.982 4.444 9 227.193
18 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:51.259 4.721 15 226.627
19 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:52.065 5.527 14 224.997
20 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari – 2

Fuente: www.fia.com

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