Free Practice 2
F1 2021
Round 13

'Super Friday' In Zandvoort Gets The #F1 Weekend Underway

nl Zandvoort

There were plenty of interruptions but still encouraging signs for the Honda-powered teams as the Dutch Grand Prix weekend got underway amid a lively atmosphere generated by Max’s Orange Army at Zandvoort.

'Super Friday' In Zandvoort Gets The #F1 Weekend Underway

It was a frustrating start to Friday’s running as FP1 was less than 20 minutes old when Sebastian Vettel stopped with a power unit failure and brought out the red flags. Concerns over the state of the car and an FIA network issue led to a long delay, with the session only resuming with six minutes remaining.

There was still enough time for Max to get a quick lap in and end up second fastest, with Pierre in 10th place. Sergio was down in 16th after not getting a clean run in the closing stages on such a busy track, but unfortunately Yuki didn’t set a time after a minor issue on his car needed investigating and he only completed three laps.

Further delays followed in FP2 as Lewis Hamilton caused a red flag early on by stopping on track and then Nikita Mazepin spun off at Turn 11 to also interrupt running. The later incident came as Max was on his flying lap on soft tyres and looked set to go quickest, meaning he had to abort and try again on used tyres, ending up fifth quickest as others could run on new sets.

Pierre was close behind Max in seventh place as both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri showed strong pace, while Sergio was 12th. For Yuki, FP2 was a much more productive session as he completed 30 laps to make up for some of the lost running in the first session, ending up just 0.15s behind Sergio in 13th place.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
The first day of practice for the Dutch Grand Prix saw technical problems and red flags reduce track time for everyone. However, we were able to get through the main elements of our programme acquiring the data we needed. In FP1 we had a minor issue with Yuki’s PU which took a while to repair, but he was able to do plenty of laps in FP2. Over both sessions, all four of our drivers tried various PU settings and now the engineers must compare and analyse that data. No doubt all teams, including ourselves will make a step forward tomorrow and we hope the enthusiastic crowd will have plenty to cheer about over the next two days.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
It’s been a good day and it was really enjoyable to see everyone in orange having fun in the grandstands. Of course the track is also very fun to drive with a lot of fast corners so it was good to finally get out there. From our side I don’t think the lap times are very representative today as I did my fastest lap on a used set of tyres. I was improving on another push lap and then Mazepin had a spin otherwise I think we would be higher up but it’s only Friday and we’re still looking at all the details of where we can do better and improve. The long runs looked competitive which is positive but we also know that the start position is very important here so we’ll see what we can do to get more pace out of the car overnight.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I must say it was really fun today, it’s an amazing track to drive on and very unique, especially turn 3 – it’s like sliding in a toboggan, with the banking. Obviously, the sessions were interrupted quite a lot with the red flags, so it was difficult to make it through our whole programme, but we still managed to complete a lot of it. I think we’re not looking as good as we would’ve liked but hopefully, we can work tonight to find a bit more performance for tomorrow. I’m confident we can do that. I think traffic in Q1 tomorrow could be an issue and I need to try to avoid this mess. Then I think looking towards the race it will be very difficult to overtake, so the priority is getting a good starting position.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
It was awesome to get out there and drive this old school circuit. It’s very different to the other tracks we go to and with so many consecutive right-hand corners it’s a pretty unique and physical challenge. I’ve never driven here before so it’s completely new and with so many red flags it was difficult to get into a rhythm. You really need the confidence going into the session to trust the car in order to push it and I wasn’t quite there or fully comfortable today so there are a couple of things on my side that we need to look at and make some decisions on in order to get the most out of the package. It’s amazing to see so many fans enjoying themselves and cheering in the grandstands so I expect the energy around the track to only get better and better over the weekend.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
In the morning we were testing some aero components, but we had a minor PU issue that we had to investigate and weren’t able to go back out. For the rest of the session, I watched a lot of on-board videos from other cars and tried to learn as much as possible before the afternoon. In FP2 I completed my first push-lap, I tried to take it easy at first as there’s not a lot of run-off areas on this track. At the end I managed a lap I was quite happy with, I obviously need to do a lot more work tonight, but I felt quite confident in the car and it was important for the team to get this data, so we can prepare for Qualifying tomorrow. I think Quali will be really important, as it seems that it’ll be difficult to overtake here during the race, so hopefully I can put it altogether when it counts tomorrow.

Published on