The Friday in F1 Dutch GP saw Ferrari with some pace against the Red Bull pair, with Mercedes also looking close to the top.
Both the Ferrari drivers looked pretty solid in F1 Dutch GP on Friday as both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc set the pace in both the sessions. They looked good on race pace side too along with the Mercedes pair. Red Bull, though, were a bit off.
Max Verstappen faced gearbox issues in FP1 and couldn’t run properly, while he couldn’t eke out a good lap in FP2. Teammate Sergio Perez struggled equally with multiple wide moments, as they fell into the clutches of the McLaren pair too.
If Red Bull bounces back, it will directly fight with the Ferrari pair, while Mercedes and McLaren are likely to form the pack behind along with the Alpine duo. The Top 10 is seemingly set with the five teams unless someone comes with an upset.
Sainz: “It’s great to be back feeling competitive, being there at the top of the times all weekend. Also the car gave me great confidence. I’m optimistic going into the rest of the weekend, but also feeling cautious because I know everyone can suddenly find two-tenths and beat you. It’s great to be back at such a challenging track, demanding as it is. I enjoyed… driving out there, even better when you look at the times we did out there. It felt like we were back to being competitive after such a difficult weekend in Spa, but also very surprised with how quick everyone is – McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull – we are all within three tenths of a second, but I’m sure it will make everything very tight for tomorrow, and exciting.”
Hamilton: “This is a lot better than my Sunday [in Spa] and it’s a lot better than Friday even last week. So yeah, it’s been a decent start to the weekend, we’ve landed in a much sweeter spot with the car, being that it’s a much different track and yeah, it’s a work in progress. We are not that far behind which is great to see, and the car doesn’t feel that bad. We just have to keep chipping away and the car doesn’t feel that bad performance-wise – there’s probably not a huge amount more performance-wise, but we keep pushing.”
Verstappen: “Yeah, just missing out in FP1 on the soft tyre, I think on that hard tyre [in FP2] we couldn’t really tell the balance because we had such little grip in the tyre and then you are a session behind. We went into FP2 and the balance wasn’t great, but in an hour’s session you can’t really change the car a lot, so we tried to deal with what we had, and that wasn’t great today so we’ll have the night to deal with things. For sure we can do better than this. To be honest, while driving it I was not really surprised when I saw the lap time difference, so there is a lot of things we can improve on. We have the whole night to look at things and of course FP3 as well. I will try of course to be more competitive.”
Norris: Zandvoort, let’s go! I really enjoy driving the circuit and I’ve had some decent results there coming through the junior catagories. The undulation and turns make it feel like a rollercoaster ride so I’m excited to get out there and give it all we’ve got. It also always has an incredible atmosphere and I like to think that most of the orange is there to support McLaren. Last weekend made it clear that we’ve still got a lot of work to do to keep in the fight with the Alpines. I have full faith in the team and know we will do everything we can to push through and be as prepared as we can to keep battling. The next two races are key so let’s keep focused and keep up the hard work.”
Alonso: “It was a decent Friday for us. It is a very different circuit to what we experienced last weekend in Spa. It’s a fun place to drive Formula 1 cars around, it’s like a rollercoaster with all of the bumps. The car feels good so far and I think we’ve seen a lot of track evolution today as it was quite dusty across the circuit this morning. We’re going to evaluate everything now, but we are pleased with our progress so far.”
Taking the cue from above, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll did find himself inside the Top 10 in FP2, but it is not clear if the team has the pace on one-lap side where they have struggled mostly. They do manage to recover in the races but Zandvoort is a tricky circuit.
For AlphaTauri, it wasn’t the best of days with both Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda having an off run, where the Japanese driver even found himself beached on the gravel. Balance issues affected Alfa Romeo and Williams, while Haas seemed optimistic.
Stroll: “We had a strong day today around a track I really like. This place is quite different to Spa – which is much faster – and we were strong there as well during Friday practice. It is a case of having to wait and see whether we can carry this momentum into qualifying tomorrow. If we can maintain our strong progress, then we should be in a good position to fight for points in the race.”
Gasly: “It’s not been a great day for me really, I’ve not felt that happy with the car in either session. We also had to make some changes to the car at the start of FP2, which unfortunately cost us quite a lot of track time. So far, it’s been quite challenging, so we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us tonight and tomorrow, but I’m sure we’ll find some solutions and feel more confident heading into quali.”
Albon: “Whilst it wasn’t great today, it felt okay out there, despite being quite windy with a high downforce circuit. The cars that are quick is opposite to last weekend, so it’s really different in terms of requirements for us. Ultimately, the track is just not suiting us today so it’s not easy, however I think we know where we need to improve so it’s all about trying to get it done for tomorrow, knowing how important qualifying is. Hopefully we can make some changes that will improve our overall pace across the weekend, so that’s the goal.”
Bottas: “We got some clean running, which is always a positive, but it was quite a tricky day. It was quite windy and this may have contributed to making the balance of the car feels a bit inconsistent: whatever the cause is, we have to figure out how to improve tonight so to find a bit more for qualifying. Grid position will be important on this tight track and I expect everyone’s setup to be a bit skewed towards single-lap performance: in the end, the challenge is the same for everyone so we’ll see how tomorrow goes.”
Schumacher: “I’d call it a clean day. The car felt good from the get-go, and it was definitely nicer to drive compared to Spa plus it’s a bit more competitive which is nice. I love coming here, it’s such a pure, old school racing track and you really have to drive the car around here, instead of the car driving you around. It’s definitely a good, fun place to drive a lap but maybe in the race it’s going to be a bit more tough as overtaking is still a bit difficult it seems, but for sure we’ll have a lot of action compared to last year.”
Here’s how FP1 in F1 Dutch GP panned out
Here’s how FP2 in F1 Dutch GP panned out