Max Verstappen signed the best time in the second free practice session, beating the Mercedes by a few thousandths, but he signed the time with the soft tires, the most performing available, while the W12s ran on medium tires with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Since the morning, Red Bull and Mercedes have divided the sectors, with the car of the Milton Keynes team very fast in the mixed central part where the aerodynamic load counts. Brackley’s cars prevailed in T1 and T3 where power counts and Toto Wolff’s suspicion is that Red Bull kept the Honda power unit at bay to hide potential.
“I think Honda has a little more margin in their pocket than us, one or two tenths”, the words of Toto Wolff reported by the German newspaper Auto Motor und Sport. An impression confirmed by Helmut Marko who did not hide: “We didn’t push the engine like Mercedes did today – the words of the head of the Red Bull youth program – we still have half a second to pull out. The question is how much leeway does Mercedes still have in terms of powertrain to draw. Sometimes they run with more or less pushed mappings, their performance increase is not always linear on weekends “.
The feeling is that who will guess the downforce the rear wing will have a significant advantage on Sunday in the race. No one can imagine how wet the race will be and depending on the weather a more or less unloaded wing will be the key to determining the favorite for the final success in the Belgian Grand Prix.