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Max fourth in FP4: "Balance feels good"

Published on 25 August 2017 by Stefan Meens

After a fourth place in FP1, Max Verstappen again clocked the fourth fastest lap in the second free practice session of the Belgian Grand Prix. The session, which started in bright sunshine but ended in the pouring rain, saw Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) set the pace, followed by Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

“Today went pretty well. The balance of the car was fine. Of course, things could always be better, but we’re not far off. We’re still losing too much time on the straights, as you can see in the first and second sectors”, explains Max. “That’s why Daniel tried a different philosophy. We’re looking for a good compromise, because it’s difficult for us to go fast on the straights and the corners. It’s not easy.”

Looking ahead of qualifying, Max is realistic: “Normally we’re the third team, because the first two can up their power. And it looks like it’s going to be dry so we’ll probably be fifth or sixth. I hope for rain, which would be better or us. It doesn’t look like it, but you never know here at Spa.”

Regardless, Max is delighted with all the support from his home fans. “It’s very motivating to see so many fans and see so much orange. On Saturday and Sunday, it’s going to be even more amazing!”

The session starts in sunshine and sees Max head out for a five lap stint on the super-softs, clocking a 1:46.4. In his second run, on a new set of Pirellis, he sets his fastest lap of the session, a 1 45:225.

Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing team mate Daniel Ricciardo tries a different set-up. He is quicker in the first and third sector, but loses a lot of time in the second sector where downforce plays a huge role. Max, however, is fast in that second sector. By splitting set-ups, the team is hoping to find the right compromise set-up wise.

With three quarters of an hour to go, Max heads out on a set of used super-softs, but is unable to improve on his lap time before the rain finally arrives and only a few drivers dare to venture out.

Belgian Grand Prix - Spa-Francorchamps - Friday 25 August


01 44 Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes                    1:44.753          17
02  7 Kimi Räikkönen      Ferrari                     1:45.015 +0.262s  21
03 77 Valtteri Bottas     Mercedes                    1:45.180 +0.427s  17
04 33 Max Verstappen      Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer   1:45.225 +0.472s  16
05  5 Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari                     1:45.235 +0.482s  20
06  3 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer   1:46.072 +1.319s  15
07 27 Nico Hulkenberg     Renault                     1:46.441 +1.688s  24
08 31 Esteban Ocon        Force India Mercedes        1:46.473 +1.720s  19
09 55 Carlos Sainz        Toro Rosso                  1:46.561 +1.808s  19
10 30 Jolyon Palmer       Renault                     1:46.670 +1.917s  23
11 14 Fernando Alonso     McLaren Honda               1:46.743 +1.990s  20
12 11 Sergio Perez        Force India Mercedes        1:46.984 +2.231s  18
13  8 Romain Grosjean     Haas Ferrari                1:47.285 +2.532s  15
14  2 Stoffel Vandoorne   McLaren Honda               1:47.303 +2.550s  17
15 26 Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso                  1:47.450 +2.697s  12
16 20 Kevin Magnussen     Haas Ferrari                1:47.556 +2.803s  15
17 18 Lance Stroll        Williams Mercedes           1:47.861 +3.108s  13
18  9 Marcus Ericsson     Sauber Ferrari              1:49.214 +4.461s  12
19 94 Pascal Wehrlein     Sauber Ferrari              1:49.725 +4.972s  18

Belgian GP contest: win 1:8 Max Verstappen helmet scale models