2022 Dutch Grand Prix – Friday
WHAT WE LEARNED
- The 18-inch tyre performed well on its debut at Zandvoort, with the choice to bring the three hardest compounds working exactly as anticipated on the demanding Dutch track, according to the data gathered in free practice.
- The performance gaps between the compounds is currently at around 1.2 seconds per lap between P Zero White hard and P Zero Yellow medium, and 0.7 seconds between medium and P Zero Red soft. The gap between hard and medium is quite high, but this could come down as more rubber gets laid onto track, with the weather expected to remain stable.
- There are some new ‘glued’ gravel traps designed to keep drivers within track limits this year, which seem to work well and don’t affect the tyres. The stones within this special gravel are round and smooth, held together by a tough epoxy resin.
- With Mercedes taking the first and second spots in FP1 and Ferrari also sealing a one-two in FP2 (always on the soft tyre) the scene seems set for a closely-fought and unpredictable weekend. A number of red flags and off-track incidents interrupted the support race sessions as well today.
“The performance of all three compounds was in line with expectations today, with the gap between the hard and the medium actually a little lower than we had estimated, which is one of the reasons why we believe that the hard could be a valid race tyre too, with a number of different strategies possible. Degradation seems manageable, even on the soft tyre, and we saw no graining of any description. Track evolution was quite high today, with a sandy track initially, and there were gusting winds, which affected the balance of the cars. One talking point today was the ‘glued gravel’ on the outside of Turns 11 and 12: this seemed to work well and we saw no negative effects on the tyres.”
THE BIG NUMBER: 17
There have been 17 Dutch drivers in the history of Formula 1, with the most experienced and successful being Max Verstappen, in his 156th race this weekend. The second-most experienced Dutch F1 driver is his father Jos, who entered 107 races. Between them, they have made up more than half the participations recorded by Dutch drivers in Formula 1, thanks to personalities such as Christijan Albers, Jan Lammers, Huub Rothengatter and Giedo Van Der Garde: the last Dutch driver to regularly compete in F1 before Verstappen Junior (source: Forix).