Insights

Dutch Grand Prix: Preview

The teams have taken the short trip over to the Netherlands - from Belgium - for the Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort.

Dutch Grand Prix

Everyone involved will be hoping for a better week of racing after the non-race that took place on Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps. 

Since the abandoned race, FIA have decided that a rule change is necessary for races that cannot be run due to extreme weather conditions. 

Jean Todt, the president of governing body the FIA, said the rules would be reviewed “to see what can be learned and improved”.

The matter will be discussed at a meeting of the F1 Commission on 5 October.

What are the current rules? 

FIA rules state that to confirm a general classification at least two laps need to be completed for half points to be awarded. To qualify for full points, a minimum of 75% of the race must be completed. 

Welcome back to Zandvoort

The track will be used for the first time after an absence of 36 years. The initial re-inclusion of the track was in 2019, but the race was postponed and then cancelled due to the pandemic. 

The track has been described as “really quick”, “pretty insane” and “crazy” by drivers who experienced racing at Zandvoort as juniors.

There are plenty of fast sweeping corners, albeit narrow ones, and a long home straight.

As Zandvoort is somewhat of an old-school style of track, overtaking is very difficult. To counter this issue, in some areas – Turn four and the final corner – massive banks have been added that reminds you more of a Nascar track than one that should be in F1. 

It’ll be interesting to see if it helps with the overtaking at all. 

Home advantage

The home fans will be out in full force in support of Max Vertsappen, who will be pushing to regain the title lead from Lewis Hamilton. 

With Covid restrictions still in place, the track will be limited to 70,000 fans instead of the capacity 105,000. Expect 99% of those fans to be dressed in orange which will be an incredible site for drivers to behold. 

Such a following could push Verstappen to success, or result in him crumbling under the pressure. 

After all, the winner of this race will be the first amongst the current crop to add their name to a list of winners that include the likes of Niki Lauda, and Jackie Stewart. 

Front row or bust!

Getting on the front row, and then turning in the lead round the first corner could effectively win you the race at Zandvoort. 

Teams will put everything into qualifying, which puts Red Bull slightly ahead, as their cars run better with greater downforce, but you can never count out Lewis Hamilton, who holds the record for the most pole positions in Formula one history. 

Whatever happens during this week, one thing is certain; it can’t be worse than last Sunday.

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