Video: Max Verstappen enjoys summer break with girlfriend and Daniil Kvyat’s daughter

Max Verstappen has won eight races in 2022, and leads the championship by 80 points heading to Spa.

Max Verstappen certainly enjoyed himself during the summer break; he spent some well-deserved time with girlfriend Kelly Piquet, as well as her daughter Penelope.

It appeared in some amusing and wholesome photos that she was teaching the reigning champion how to swim as he wore armbands in the pool, and he did in the water what he is often seen doing on the asphalt.

The 24-year-old executed a perfect divebomb into the blue stuff, and having spent his time off sending it on holiday, it is time once again to send it on track.

The Dutchman carries an 80-point championship advantage heading into the 14th round of the season in Belgium this weekend, where he is set to receive raucous support from travelling Dutch fans.

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He will enjoy more of that when he heads to Zandvoort next weekend at his home race, and he will be making the most of that atmosphere before he enters Ferrari territory – Monza.

In the remarkable setting of the Ardennes Forest on Friday, Verstappen went third fastest in FP1 behind the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, setting 10 laps in the process.

The end of second practice was affected by rain, but not before the 28-time race winner set the fastest lap on Friday afternoon, going eight tenths quicker than Leclerc having put 20 laps on the board.

“Not so much really changed, we just looked at how we could set up the car in the best possible way,” Verstappen explained to reporters after FP2.

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“As soon as we went out, the car was looking pretty well, there are always things you want to fine tune with balance, but out of basically the first run, I was happy with the car.”

Despite the rain curtailing the final bit of running on day one in Spa, Verstappen was satisfied with how his day went.

“From the laps we did, I think the car was working well and that’s positive,” he added.

“Of course, I would have liked to run a little bit more, including everyone else, but so far it’s been a good start.”

Verstappen will need to do some more sending on Sunday when he starts from further back once penalties are applied.

He will not be right at the very back, as Leclerc, Valtteri Bottas, Lando Norris, Zhou Guanyu, Esteban Ocon and Mick Schumacher also have engine penalties, although Bottas only has 15 places.

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It is likely, then, that the championship leader will start the Belgian Grand Prix 15th or 16th, but there will still be work to do to climb up the order.

“That’s what we’ll try,” said Verstappen.

“I mean, we have to.”

The drivers did not get a feel for the damp conditions at the end of the session, as pushing in practice in changing weather is never a good idea.

“I mean, when it started to rain a bit like this, you don’t push anymore so I don’t think we have really a good idea about it,” stated Verstappen.

“But I think also today was going to be the worst day for it, so normally, we should have dry conditions.”

Verstappen won the last race in Hungary from 10th on the grid, so Sunday’s race could be a fascinating one.