With Zandvoort proving to be extremely difficult to overtake at, Saturday's qualifying proved decisive. With both Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel hampered by factors outside of their control, the duo had work to do in the Grand Prix. Both drivers battled hard but were unable to secure points in the Dutch Grand Prix.
Zandvoort is a great track to drive and it is definitely more of a Saturday circuit.
"We can see from the race just how important qualifying is and unfortunately we were compromised yesterday, so we had it all to do today. I made an OK start off the line, but I was not able to make up any places. After that, I could only really follow George [Russell] for the majority of the race in a train of cars. Without a significant tyre delta, it is almost impossible to overtake here. We will look into the strategy to see what else we could have done, but I do not think we could have done a lot differently. Zandvoort is a great track to drive and it is definitely more of a Saturday circuit. I am happy to see it on the calendar, but perhaps there are ways to look into improving overtaking on a Sunday. For now, we will reset and focus on Monza."
When I did have some clean air, in the final part of the race, the pace was very competitive and I found a good rhythm.
"It was one of those days which shows that if you start further back it is really hard to recover, especially on a track where overtaking is so tricky. I had to take a lot of risks when overtaking, but if you qualify out of position it is difficult to come back. When I did have some clean air, in the final part of the race, the pace was very competitive and I found a good rhythm. From where we started, we had to try to do something different with the strategy and I was happy with our approach."
Monza is a welcome opportunity for us to try to improve on today’s performance.
"On a circuit on which overtaking is extremely difficult, we were unable to make much progress today with either Lance’s one-stop strategy or Sebastian's two-stopper. Nonetheless, they both drove well in difficult circumstances. The first Formula One Dutch Grand Prix for 36 years was well organised and efficiently run, and, although there was not a lot of on-track action in terms of overtaking, an excited full-house audience was rewarded with victory for the local hero. Next weekend we will be at Monza, a very different kind of challenge, and a welcome opportunity for us to try to improve on today’s performance."
#IAMSTORIES: Meike, The Netherlands
From playing with toy racing cars as a child to the moment she fell in love with Formula One, Meike is one of many passionate fans excited to see the sport return to her home country.
Guide to Zandvoort
Zandvoort throws up plenty of unknowns for driver and team ahead of the first Dutch Grand Prix in over 30 years. Plus, a new track configuration means there’s no historical data to rely upon. Using the power of simulation and data, our strategy engineers evaluate the key factors that could decide the Dutch Grand Prix, presented in partnership with Title Partner Cognizant.
Congizant's Keys to the Race
Tyre behaviour will play a key role in both overtaking and overall strategy. Tyre wear and degradation levels determine how much opportunity there is for gaining an advantage by pitting for fresher tyres. The tyre allocation for Zandvoort will be the same as at Silverstone, Barcelona and Portimão, with the C1, C2 and C3s.
Zandvoort offers two DRS zones, however, the straights on this circuit are short. The tighter corners at the end of DRS zones (Turns One and 11) may offer some of the best opportunities to pass, while the banked corners of Turns Three and 14 may give drivers the opportunity to take different lines to help set up an overtake.
A Safety Car has appeared in nine of the last 12 races with only Monaco, France and the opening Austrian race running without interruptions. There have also been five red flags this year, more than in any of the last 20 seasons. With limited track experience, and on a narrow circuit littered with plenty of gravel run-off, drivers are likely to make mistakes, so expect a Safety Car or Virtual Safety Car during the race.
Few drivers in the field have experienced the Dutch circuit, and no-one has driven a lap in anger around the new layout. With limited data, it will be critical to hone the set-up throughout each session. Our official Cyber Security Partner SentinelOne presents the key challenges behind a single lap of the track.
Unlocking the Lap
The main straight will offer one of the few opportunities for drivers to complete a pass as they head towards the challenging first corner: Tarzan.
This long 180-degree hairpin punishes drivers who are late on the brakes: a poor entry line will compound the error into the following ess-bend sequence.
The Tarzan hairpin is cambered, encouraging multiple racing lines, expect speeds well below 160km/h (100mph).
It's crucial drivers get back on the power as quickly as possible on the exit of Tarzan to maximise the kink of Turn Two before the first stretch of cambered track.
The kink will require drivers to tap the brakes and aim for the inside kerb, trying to keep speeds around 265km/h (164mph) before entering Hugenholtz.
The banking is designed to offer multiple points of attack, so drivers will need to find the optimum racing line and watch their mirrors.
It's a sharp left into the turn, so drivers will drop down into second gear before quickly getting back on the power as they move through the 19-degree banked corner.
Unlocking the Lap
Turns Four, Five and Six are part of a flowing sequence midway through the lap and are expected to be taken flat-out.
Drivers may err on the side of caution at the exit of Turn Six by dabbing the brakes because the gravel trap looms on the outside of the corner.
There's a short straight leading to Turn Eight, and drivers need to hug the left-hand side of the track because the corner tightens midway through – again, expect speeds around 160km/h (100mph).
Turns Nine and 10 are tricky, irregular, hairpins. Expect grip to be at a premium through here. The DRS detection point is just on the entry to Turn 10, with the short back straight providing a quick DRS zone before further tight corners.
Turns 11 and 12 run back-to-back and will be low speed, requiring drivers to take a tight line and be patient as Turn 12 unwinds onto a straight.
Turn 13 is the last braking zone of the lap, and any mistakes here will punish drivers all the way to Tarzan.
Drivers will aim to maintain high speed, clipping the kerb on the inside, to maximise their approach to the final banked corner of Luyendyk.
Luyendyk is one of the widest corners on the circuit, taken at full throttle, and will hopefully widen the scope for DRS-assisted overtakes along the main straight.
The banking and the mix of low and high-speed sections means drivers and teams will have to find the set-up compromise to excel across a lap, while also standing up to the immense test of banked corners.
Zandvoort is making a welcome return to Formula One this weekend. Global Partner NetApp explains why the Dutch Grand Prix is so historic through the best facts and figures from the Netherlands.
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