Championship leader Max Verstappen resumed the normal service during the FP2 in Belgium becoming the only driver to register a sub 1m:45s time, an ominous sign for the rest of the pack.
The Dutchman, who will start at the back of the grid with Charles Leclerc after taking new engine components, set a blistering time of 1:45.507 the fastest on the day. If the FP2 in Belgium is any indication of the race pace, Verstappen will not be in the back for long.
Charles Leclerc was second with a time of 1:46.369 a major deficit of +0.862s separating the two jostlers for the world championship. His teammate Carlos Sainz, leader of the FP1, slipped to fourth in the second session with a time of 1:46.649 after being usurped by Lando Norris (3rd) and Lance Stroll (4th).
Mercedes had another quiet day with Lewis Hamilton the sixth fastest driver in the session, two spots ahead of teammate George Russell in eighth.
The Alpine of Fernando Alonso split the Mercedes drivers in seventh, with the soon-to-be-departing McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo in ninth, just over six-tenths behind his teammate.
Sergio Perez left it late to go for his flying lap and set a time good enough for 10th, ahead of the impressive Williams of Alex Albon, in 11th.
Zhou Guanyu was 12th just ahead of the AlphaTauri pair of Yuki Tsunoda in 13th and the returning Pierre Gasly in P14.
Sebastian Vettel was P15, ahead of Esteban Ocon in 16th with Kevin Magnussen 17th.
Another runner who missed most of the running in the first practice session was the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas, down in 18th, ahead of Nicholas Latifi in P19, with the Haas of Mick Schumacher in 20th.