- Ferrari swept to a one-two finish in both FP1 and FP2 on Friday at Spa, showing the might of its engine and straight-lined speed advantage over the field. Sebastian Vettel led from Charles Leclerc in FP1 before they swapped for FP2. Leclerc ultimately finished the day six-tenths of a second clear of the field.

- Ferrari’s pace left both Mercedes and Red Bull uneasy about its chances of making up the gap on Saturday in qualifying. Lewis Hamilton said Ferrari was gaining around a second per lap on the run to Les Combes alone, with Valtteri Bottas also feeling Ferrari were “killing us on the straight lines”.

- Both Mercedes drivers took heart from their long-run pace though, with Hamilton believing it would be the best chance to stick with the Ferraris in the race: “You can be quick, but you can’t overtake them on the straights. But so long as you can keep up with them, maybe you can do it on strategy. We’ll wait and see.”

- Hamilton had a difficult FP1 at Spa as a broken throttle pedal caused him to lose power and coast on-track early in the session before a telemetry issue cost him more track time. He was then forced to change his helmet in FP2 after reporting a leak that allowed sand and dust to blow into his eyes.

- Running with Mercedes’ updated engine, Hamilton’s Thursday prediction that it would be worth only 0.05 seconds proved optimistic. “It might be even less than that,” he said, citing the focus had been on reliability with the update.

- Max Verstappen ran in a lower power mode throughout Friday’s running to help his Honda’s engine life, explaining some of the 1.2 second gap to Leclerc in FP2. However, the Dutchman said he doubted the difference would be totally made up, instead focusing on Mercedes as being Red Bull’s main target for the race weekend.

- Both Ferrari drivers remained coy on their chances heading into the rest of the weekend. Leclerc said he was “definitely not” six-tenths of a second clear of the field, expressing his confidence that Mercedes would catch up the gap. Vettel said he was “not taking anything for granted” as he aims to end his year-long win drought in F1.

- New teammate Alexander Albon enjoyed his maiden run-out in the Red Bull RB15 car on Friday. As expected, Albon said the car felt “very different”, but was looking to make “baby steps” through practice to adjust to the new car. Albon finished P10 in FP2, and will start at the back of the grid due to a power unit penalty.

- Making a similar adjustment, Gasly said he had to change his references in a slower car. “I would say this way is a bit harder to go from a car with a bit more potential where you can attack a bit more to something which has a bit less grip but it’s my job to extract the maximum from it,” he said.

- Sergio Perez managed to finish the day as the leading midfield driver in P5 for Racing Point, but was forced to park up at the side of the track due to a loss of power late in FP2. A small fire emerged at the rear of his car, and while Perez was unsure what caused it, he admitted “it doesn’t look good”. Teammate Lance Stroll also had an overheating problem, although this was caused by one of the FOM boxes on his car and not his engine.

- A pick-up at the end of Perez’s day was confirmation that he will remain with Racing Point for next year and beyond, signing a three-year deal that was announced after FP2. Perez will be partnered by Lance Stroll again next year, setting another two seats on the grid.

- Stroll will join Albon in taking a grid penalty following power unit changes ahead of the weekend. They are two of six drivers serving a drop along with Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz, all of whom are taking updated parts. A number of other drivers have also made the change, but avoid any penalty as they remain within the seasonal limit.

- Kimi Raikkonen had no concerns about his leg injury after completing both FP1 and FP2. “I can drive and that’s what matters,” he said.

- Cyril Abiteboul explained the “difficult call” Renault had to make in dropping Nico Hulkenberg for the 2020 season in favour of signing Esteban Ocon, citing a need to reset the “dynamic” at the team as a contributing factor. Abiteboul denied Hulkenberg’s claim that Ocon’s nationality – a French driver at a French team – played any role in the decision.

- Abiteboul confirmed that part of the concessions in the teams agreeing to a 22-race calendar for 2020 was the allowance of a third MGU-K for next year, up from two in 2019.

- Franz Tost spoke about the similarities he had seen between Albon and Verstappen during their first years at Toro Rosso, giving him confidence that Albon would cope fine as the Dutchman’s teammate. Tost also said he had no doubts about Pierre Gasly’s confidence levels upon his return to Toro Rosso, and that he still had a good opportunity to show his talents at the team as he did through 2018.

- Nyck de Vries extended his lead at the top of the Formula 2 drivers’ championship by claiming pole position. Nicholas Latifi saw his title hopes take another blow as he finished down in 11th.

- Jehan Daruvala became the sixth different pole-sitter in six Formula 3 races this year as he topped qualifying for Prema, beating Pedro Piquet and Yuki Tsunoda.



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