Mixed Fortunes For Mercedes On Friday At Zandvoort

2021 Dutch Grand Prix, Friday - Lewis Hamilton (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)

It was a disrupted day of running at the Dutch Grand Prix, with several red flags limiting lap counts and changing run plans across Friday.

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in the first session, with Valtteri Bottas in P5. This session included a lengthy stoppage after Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin suffered a power unit failure.

It was P4 for Bottas and P11 for Hamilton in FP2. Lewis brought out the red flag after five minutes of the session after he was forced to stop out on track.

The reason for Hamilton’s early exit from the session was because of abnormal oil system behaviour, which limited him to only three laps in FP2.

2021 Dutch Grand Prix, Friday - Lewis Hamilton (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)
2021 Dutch Grand Prix, Friday – Lewis Hamilton (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)

Valtteri Bottas

‘Overall, it was a good day for me, and I enjoyed it out on track. It’s an exciting track to drive, with all the banked corners and high-speed sections. It’s got a nice flow and it’s fairly easy to settle into a rhythm. I’m sure tomorrow in Qualifying will be even more fun. It was quite a disrupted day with a lot of red flags, but even so, I got quite a lot of laps in, particularly in FP2 where we did some proper running on both single lap and long runs. I’m sure we have plenty of data to go through. The margins look small, which is nice to see, so everything is possible.’

Lewis Hamilton

‘This track is epic. It brought back so many memories when I first got out there, from when I drove here before. I knew it was great when I was in Formula 3, but in a Formula One car it is just something else. It’s a shame I couldn’t complete more running, but the loss of power cut my FP2 short quite early on. I’ve got some catching up to do and we need to investigate the issue in more detail, but it’s not the end of the world. The car wasn’t feeling too bad, in the limited running I had, and Valtteri had a productive FP2, so we’ll have plenty of learnings to take from that. It was amazing to see the crowd here today, there were so many people out there and the Dutch fans bring so much energy. I hope it’s a great weekend for everyone.’

Andrew Shovlin

‘We’ve had a tricky day with red flags costing us a lot of running time in the first session and then Lewis had an issue with his car, so we had to stop on track. Everyone has struggled with a lack of running so there isn’t masses of data to work with and many had low fuel runs that were compromised with traffic, so we have to expect many teams to move forward tomorrow. We’re struggling a bit with Turn 2-3, we seem to be losing there on both low and high fuel but we’ve got a bit of time tonight to understand that. There are a few other places we can improve the balance but overall, it doesn’t seem too far off. We have to recover a bit of running with Lewis but there is time to do that in the morning session.’

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