Lewis Hamilton sent out a warning shot to his Formula 1 rivals by setting the pace through second practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Friday afternoon.
Hamilton trailed Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in FP1 earlier in the day, but was able to respond with a best time of 1:44.753 to take top spot in the second 90-minute session.
Hamilton turned his lap in on the ultra-soft tire for Mercedes, leaving Raikkonen to settle for second place, 0.262 seconds further back.
Valtteri Bottas took third in the sister Mercedes W08 car, four-tenths back from his teammate, while Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel trailed in P4 and P5 for Red Bull and Ferrari respectively.
Daniel Ricciardo was unable to join the quintet leading the pack, finishing 1.3 seconds down on Hamilton for Red Bull in sixth place after a slow initial run on the ultra-softs.
Nico Hulkenberg followed in P7 for Renault ahead of Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz Jr., while Jolyon Palmer completed the top 10 positions.
The session went by without major incident, with Felipe Massa being the only driver sidelined after a chassis change following his FP1 crash meant he was unable to get out on-track.
A rain shower struck Spa with around 25 minutes remaining in the session, prompting most teams to head back to the pits and call it a day with little to learn by running in the damp conditions.
Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso were the only drivers to brave the elements, but both quickly returned to the pits after one tentative lap, largely spent trying to keep the car in a straight line.
FP3 for the Belgian Grand Prix is live on the NBC Sports app from 5am ET on Saturday, followed by qualifying at 8am ET on CNBC.
Chase Sexton announced on Instagram he will sit out this weekend’s Pro Motocross race at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California after a practice crash on Tuesday left him with a concussion.
Sexton’s crash on Tuesday happened during a test session at Fox Raceway.
“Bummed to make this post but I’ll be sitting out this weekend,” Sexton said. “As you guys saw I had a big one during qualifying at Pala, then another one on Tuesday this week that banged me up pretty good. Nothing broken just need a few days to get back to 100%.”
Despite his crash in the first qualification session in Pala, California, Sexton mounted up for both motos and finished second in each race behind his teammate Jett Lawrence, who was making his Motocross debut and won with a pair of first-place finishes. Sexton padded his SuperMotocross points’ lead over the injured Eli Tomac, who is still second in the combined Supercross and Motocross standings despite missing the SX finale at Salt Lake City and the outdoor opener with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Sexton has an advantage of 78 points over Cooper Webb and cannot give up his SMX lead by missing this round.
At stake, however, is the risk of losing ground to Lawrence in the Pro Motocross championship. Sexton currently trails his teammate by six points and is liable to lose significant ground this weekend.
In addition to his concussion, Sexton has also been diagnosed with mononucleosis and the combination of the two conditions caused the team to make the difficult decision to keep him out of the lineup at Hangtown.
“I’m super-bummed to miss this weekend’s race,” Sexton said in a press release. “I feel like I rode well at Pala, and I was really looking forward to Hangtown because it’s a good track for me. Unfortunately, I was already pretty banged up from my qualifying crash on Saturday, and now with mono and Tuesday’s concussion on top of it, I want to do the right thing and hopefully be back on the track soon.”
A return date for Sexton has not yet been announced.
Other 2023 Injury News
Eli Tomac, Achilles tendon | It was just a freak deal
Justin Barcia, collarbone and shoulder
Jason Anderson, vertebrae
Christian Craig, elbow
Marvin Musquin, wrist
Malcolm Stewart, knee | Signs two-year extension
Aaron Plessinger, hip | returned at Salt Lake City
Dylan Ferrandis, concussion | Will not return until Motocross
Cooper Webb, concussion | returned at Pala
Nate Thrasher, hip
Stilez Robertson, leg
Cameron McAdoo, shoulder
Seth Hammaker, arm and wrist
Austin Forkner, knee | Injury isn’t the hardest part
Jo Shimoda, collarbone | returned at Atlanta
Jalek Swoll, arm | returned at Pala
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