Spa is about as good as it gets. Not only are the speeds high – we’re talking about 20 seconds at full throttle from La Source to Les Combes, the season’s longest such blast – but it’s technically demanding too, with the downhill section from Rivage to just before Blanchimont presenting drivers with some really tricky sequences to nail.
Max fresh from the summer break looked to pick up where he left off in Free Practice One at spellbinding Spa. The Dutchman looked right at home at his favourite circuit completing a total of 18 laps with a best time of 1:45.507 to put him P3.
Meanwhile, Alex got his first taste of the RB15 with a solid first session. He completed 19 laps with a best time of 1:45.584 to put him P4 in his first session with the team.
Conditions were perfect for Free Practice Two at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Max completed 20 laps in the afternoon session with a best time of 1:45.394 for P6. Meanwhile Alex completed 21 laps with a best time of 1:45.771 for P10.
- First Practice Session: 1:45.507, Position: 3, Laps: 18
- Second Practice Session: 1:45.394, Position: 6, Laps: 20
“The car felt pretty good today, especially the balance in FP2 and we are quite competitive in the second sector. We ran a slightly lower power mode on my side of the garage which lost us lap time, especially around such a long circuit, but tomorrow we should be back to normal and there is no point in risking anything on a Friday.
“It will be hard to beat Ferrari around here as they are super fast but that is no surprise as this track definitely suits them better than us. We should be closer to Mercedes tomorrow and we will see what we can do from there. We still have a bit of work to do but in general I was quite happy with how the car was behaving.”
- First Practice Session: 1:45.584, Position: 4, Laps: 19
- Second Practice Session: 1:45.771, Position: 10, Laps: 21
“Today was exciting, a bit like your first day at school, and it felt pretty good. I kept it on the black stuff and I’m enjoying it. I’m just trying to take it slowly, get as many laps as I can and understand the car as I’m still learning. There are obviously differences from Toro Rosso so I’m trying to adapt as quickly as possible, I can see it’s a nice car to drive and it’s quick, now I just need to get used to it.
“In the morning, FP1 was pretty good, it was just baby steps really, then in the afternoon we focused more on long runs as with the penalty, our focus isn’t so much on short run pace but more on Sunday. The Team have been very kind to me and so I feel quite at home with the guys. I don’t have any expectations or a finishing goal, I just want to do a good job for Sunday.”