The first day of track action at Zandvoort was a busy one, even if both free practice sessions were briefly stopped once because of cars having gone off the track and into the gravel trap or the barriers. Lando Norris was quickest overall in his McLaren, setting the best time in the second session, getting round the 4.259 kilometre track in 1:11.330, one second quicker than the best time in the corresponding session at last year’s Grand Prix, which was set by Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari in 1:12.345.

This weekend is being run to the standard format and the teams worked to well-established programmes, especially in FP2 when, after a few more stints with relatively low fuel loads, they concentrated on running in race trim, doing quite long runs. For example, 18 laps were completed by Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) on the Hard and Pierre Gasly (Alpine) on the Soft.

The track was very dirty at the start of the day, which is to be expected with a track located amongst the sand dunes just a few hundred metres from the North Sea. Conditions evolved very rapidly as the cars put in the laps, a process which will also continue significantly tomorrow and Sunday, bearing in mind that the weather could still play a part.


All in all, this was a very useful day for us because we were able to gather a lot of data relating to the three compounds we have brought to Zandvoort, both on short and long runs. Compared to last year, we have a new Hard – the C1 – which from what we saw today is degrading much less, even though it was used mainly in FP1 when the track surface was still very dirty and provided very little grip. The relatively cooler temperatures could make the softest compound, the C3, a more plausible race tyre. The situation is therefore very open when it comes to Sunday’s tyre choice, which means a more interesting and uncertain weekend is in prospect. In terms of the gaps between the compounds, the rapid track evolution means it is not yet possible to come up with reliable estimates, while one should also consider that the forecast says there is a significant chance of rain, especially for tomorrow, which is another unknown factor to take into consideration.”


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Pirelli has been Global Tyre Partner of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 2011. The company also supplies championships including FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, FIA World Rally Championship and GT World Challenge, alongside numerous national series.