Leclerc fastest in 2nd practice session for Belgian GP

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) — Ferrari again led the way at the Belgian Grand Prix with Charles Leclerc posting the fastest time Friday in the second practice.

The 21-year-old driver from Monaco was .630 seconds quicker than teammate Sebastian Vettel, meaning Ferrari topped both of the day’s practice sessions.

Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton was fourth best in the second session, again finishing behind Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The session ended with a few minutes left when Sergio Perez pulled over to the side of the track with smoke billowing out the back of his Racing Point car in what appeared an exhaust problem. The Mexican driver had the fifth best time ahead of Red Bull rival Max Verstappen.

Earlier Friday, Vettel was .214 seconds ahead of Leclerc and .933 seconds clear of Verstappen in sunny and warm conditions on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Ardennes forest.

Vettel’s last F1 win was at the same venue last year.

Hamilton spent the first half of that practice session stuck in the garage with a malfunctioning throttle pedal, which had to be changed. He was sixth behind Bottas and Red Bull driver Alexander Albon.

The first session was briefly delayed after part of the engine cover on Lance Stroll’s Racing Point car broke, sending debris onto the track.

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