Lewis Hamilton ousted Max Verstappen in front of the RBR driver’s fans to be the fastest in the first free practice of the Dutch GP, held this Friday morning at the Zandvoort circuit, in a session that was interrupted for about 25 minutes in function of a crash in Sebastian Vettel’s car.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the first free practice of the 2021 Dutch GP — Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images
Along with the championship leader and runner-up came the Ferrari duo, with Carlos Sainz in third and Charles Leclerc in fourth. Valtteri Bottas completed the list of the fastest five. Also highlighted is the Alpine duo, which appears in sixth and seventh places with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.
Full house for Verstappen and F1
Despite local government restrictions to contain the covid pandemic, which reduced the capacity of the circuit from 105,000 to 70,000 spectators a day, the first free practice had a full house from the start. And even after the green light, thousands of fans were seen arriving at the circuit. However, fans ended up seeing little action as the session was suspended for nearly half an hour by red flags.
Despite the need for track time for the drivers, as the circuit has returned to the calendar after 36 years, this first session was red flagged for about 25 minutes for the removal of Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin, who suffered some kind of damage. electrical failure and prevented inspectors from touching the car until they found a solution that would prevent a shock when touching the vehicle.
However, before the interruption, the drivers were already struggling to adapt to the conditions of the new track. In addition to the uniqueness of the circuit, there is still the challenge of driving with sand on the track, as the track is practically on the seafront. Thus, some competitors ended up running in their first laps, as was the case with Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon.
At the end, when the session was released with six minutes to go, there was a scare carried out by Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon, who almost didn’t touch each other.
The riders will return to the track soon, at 10am, for the second free practice of the Dutch GP. You follow everything in real time on ge.
Netherlands GP info and timetable — Photo: Infoesporte