It has been a rare occurrence over the last two and a half seasons, but it wasn’t Mercedes leading the standings at the end of the first day at Spa, instead it was Red Bull who showed their pace with Mercedes falling back down through the field.
There is nothing to be alarmed about though for Mercedes fans as they didn’t run the faster supersoft tyre during the Second Free Practice Session, which left Red Bull at the top of the standings as effectively the best of the rest ahead of Force India and Ferrari.
Although not perfect for the Milton Keynes team, Max Verstappen was a quarter of a second ahead of Daniel Ricciardo as the chequered flag fell, even though the balance of the car wasn’t 100% to his liking. Red Bull are running a very skinny rear wing this weekend to counter the loss of power they have against Mercedes, which looks to be paying off against their customer team Force India and Ferrari.
Talking at the end of the session, Max Verstappen was happy with the days work in front of his ‘home’ crowd, “It has been a very positive Friday for us. We showed great pace today in comparison with other teams, though it’s hard to say what Mercedes is like.
“Of course I’m happy to be first in front of so many Dutch fans but it’s still not qualifying and not the race. When I went up to first position in the second practice the fans were all cheering me on with their flags.
“It definitely gives me a boost and motivates me a lot. This track is very difficult for setting up the car balance so I also had some struggles but in the end it paid off with the last set up change we did.
“We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I’m sure we can improve even more, but we have to wait and see what the others are doing. So far we had a very good start to the weekend.”