Scuderia Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz set the fastest time of 2:03.207 in Free Practice as wet weather plagued running around the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Amidst continuing weather and safety concerns, teams were notified prior to the session that the times from Free Practice would not be used to set the grid for either the Sprint or the Grand Prix, to ensure practice wasn’t seen as a competitive session.
Read More: 2023 Belgian GP – FP1 Results
Competitive or not, navigating the tricky conditions in Spa was a challenge for the drivers – with running vital to prepare for what will likely be a wet qualifying session later today, if it goes ahead.
Behind Sainz was the McLaren pair of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, 0.585s and 1.277s back from the leading pace respectively.
McLaren’s wet-weather form in practice comes on the heels of back-to-back podiums for Norris.
In fourth and fifth were Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, with Williams’ Alex Albon and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda finishing sixth and seventh on the timesheet.
Albon’s teammate Logan Sargeant brought out a red flag part way through the session by going straight on at Les Combes – with the American suspecting something broke on his Williams FW45, leading to the incident.
Sargeant was unable to put a time on the board.
In eighth and ninth place were Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Tsunoda’s new teammate as of last week, Daniel Ricciardo.
The top 10 was completed by Magnussen’s teammate Nico Hülkenberg.
Fernando Alonso finished just outside the top 10 in 11th place.
Mercedes has brought a sizeable upgrade package to their W14 this weekend, but in wet weather, their drivers finished in 12th and 13th respectively, with Lewis Hamilton leading teammate George Russell.
The last of those to set a time was the Alfa Romeo pairing of Valtteri Bottas in 14th and Zhou Guanyu in 15th place.
Along with Sargeant, Lance Stroll, Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon and championship leader Max Verstappen did not set a time in the session.
Qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix commences at 17:00 local time, subject to the weather conditions.
Race officials have made running a qualifying session for the Grand Prix a priority and other sessions may be cancelled or rescheduled to facilitate this.
In the event qualifying cannot be run, the grid will be set by the championship order.