|The seventh round of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps as teams prepared for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.|
Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – were run under mostly cloudy skies on the 7.004-kilometer (4.352-mile), 19-turn circuit.
FP1 started in the worst possible way for Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen with both VF-20’s forced into early retirement with unrelated power unit issues. Magnussen was out with just his install lap to his credit while Grosjean had started his wake-up run when he encountered a loss of power out on-track and returned to the garage. Neither driver set a timed lap with both cars subsequently requiring a power unit replacement.
Each car crew worked feverishly enabling Magnussen, who was first to hit the track, and Grosjean to join FP2 with just over 30 minutes left in the afternoon session. Both drivers banked some bedding in laps on the Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires on low fuel. Grosjean’s best lap was a 1:45.834 – placing him P19. Magnussen lapped in 1:46.242 for P20. With the clock winding down and following a short red-flag stoppage for debris at the first turn, a handful of high fuel laps brought a frustrating day to a close.
Haas F1 Team was limited to a total of just 27 laps on Friday – 14 by Grosjean and 13 by Magnussen.
|“It was a tough day for everyone, especially the mechanics. Going out in the morning, then having to straight away change the engine – that’s not ideal, especially with both cars and at Spa where you really want to get laps and knowledge. We at least managed to get out in the afternoon – the boys did a mega job. The car didn’t feel too bad. We’re obviously not at the top of the timesheets, but that’s understandable after doing just one timed lap on a one lap tire. Being two tenths away from Vettel after having only done one lap, it’s not bad. The car actually felt good, so that’s nice, but we’ll pay the price for the straight line here. I believe we’ll be in the fight for 15th to 20th – I just don’t really see much more, but I hope I’m wrong.”|
|“It wasn’t the ideal day. We didn’t get out in FP1, then because we had to change the power unit, we were also delayed in FP2. Not a great start to the weekend but of course we’ll try and make up for it tomorrow. The car didn’t feel too bad, you only really get one lap on the C4 soft tire – and that’s your first flying lap. It’ll come though. We’ll see where we are tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll get on top of the pace. You can’t just go into your first lap and be right on the pace. There’s a lot of lap time missing from us just getting up to pace. If it rains tomorrow though it doesn’t give any value to the experience anyone else gained today, so maybe fingers crossed for that.”|
|“It’s been a very disappointing day today. We didn’t do any laps in FP1, other than the installation laps, because of both engine failures. The only good thing from today is that the guys did a fantastic job to get the cars together again. We at least got back out in the afternoon to find some kind of balance on the car, that’s what we achieved. We just need to get the best out of tomorrow’s one-hour practice session. Again, I just want to say a big thank you to the guys – they kept on working hard to get us back out there.”|
|Saturday August 29 – Final practice runs 12:00–13:00 local time before Belgian Grand Prix qualifying 15:00–16:00.|
Haas F1 Team PR