2022 Belgian Grand Prix - Friday
WHAT WE LEARNED
- On a cool and cloudy day at Spa where track temperatures peaked at just 23 degrees, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen went fastest in FP2 on the P Zero Red soft tyre – but he won't be in contention to start from pole, as his team has already confirmed that he will take some grid penalties on Sunday, along with a few other drivers. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was quickest in FP1.
- There was intermittent drizzle throughout the day, which resulted in some short runs on the Cinturato Green intermediates as well as the three slick compounds. The majority of running took place on the slick tyres, with the softs setting the fastest time in both sessions.
- With smooth new asphalt, remodelled gravel traps, and a high degree of track evolution, there was plenty for the drivers to get used to. The track evolution today makes the performance gaps hard to calculate, but there’s currently an estimated gap of around 0.9 seconds between hard and medium, and 0.6 seconds between medium and soft. Even though the gap between hard and medium seems quite high, this should be seen in the context of the longest lap on the calendar.
“It was hard to draw many conclusions today, with plenty of track evolution and the weather making the surface ‘green’ and slippery. The new asphalt is quite smooth and doesn’t offer as much grip as when we measured it directly after the Spa 24 Hours a few weeks ago. However, this is likely to change over the course of the weekend as more rubber gets laid down. The cool conditions today favoured the use of the soft tyre, which showed no graining despite the low temperatures. We’re not expecting warm weather for the grand prix, which might also mean that the softer compounds play an important role in the race, depending on the degradation rates.”
THE BIG NUMBER: 1.3
A total of 1.3 kilometres, out of an overall track length of 7.004 kilometres, have been resurfaced with new asphalt this year as part of a series of modifications at Spa. As well as the new asphalt on five corners, including the famous Eau Rouge-Raidillon complex, there are new gravel traps on four corners.