Drivers wary of "very processional" F1 racing at Zandvoort

Several Formula 1 drivers with prior experience of racing at Zandvoort believe racing in the Dutch Grand Prix is likely to be "processional", even though the track is "awesome to drive".

Drivers wary of "very processional" F1 racing at Zandvoort

While welcoming Zandvoort's return to the calendar, Renault's Daniel Ricciardo was among those unconvinced that the track's layout is currently conducive to modern grand prix racing.

Ricciardo contested the F3 Masters race at Zandvoort in 2008 and 2009, and he has also driven a Red Bull F1 car there in demonstration runs.

“Full honesty here, the track to drive on is pretty awesome,” said the Renault driver. “It’s high speed, it’s old school, big balls. From a driving point of view, it’s fine. But how fast it is and how narrow some places are, I don’t think it would be that exciting for overtaking – just my initial feeling.

“With the speeds we go now, following another car will be very difficult. That’s my reservation with it. I think it’ll be a very processional race, otherwise the track’s cool.

“I’m a bit torn. To drive on it’d be fun but to race - with the width of the cars now it’s probably a bit like a street circuit through some places. It’ll be tricky to make a really exciting race.

“I only drove a demonstration [in an F1 car], but I raced there in F3, and it keeps your eyes open. Big balls.”

Nico Hulkenberg, who won the Masters event in 2008 and also competed at Zandvoort in A1 GP, shared his teammate’s concerns about overtaking.

“I loved Zandvoort in my junior times in F3, following BMW and A1,” said the German. “Good memories of a cool track, a great location, and obviously Dutchies are always fired up and ready for a good party.

“Scheivlak is one corner that was a corner where you had to be brave and ballsy, I’m sure that’s going to be massively quick in F1, so it’s going to be fun and interesting to see these cars there.

“But even in F3 [overtaking] was almost an impossible task. The track layout was not the most inviting for overtaking and racing unfortunately.”

Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat has raced at Zandvoort in a variety of junior categories during his career - Formula BWM, Formula Renault and F3.

But while the venue is among his favourites, he too admits passing other drivers will be a challenge.

"That's what was the first thing I thought - overtaking there might be a problem, because [it has] a lot of awesome high-speed corners, but with modern cars it is obviously hard to follow," Kvyat said.

"The track is awesome to drive, honestly. Like in F3 it was my favourite track, but yeah, that's the question mark about it."

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who won the Masters event in both 2009 and 2010, said he would enjoy the challenge of a track that punishes mistakes.

“It’s a great circuit, an old school circuit that drivers love,” said the Finn. “Making mistakes there in the high speed section can be very penalising, and we feel we are a bit more risking ourselves in that track, which is a nice feeling for a driver.

“I look forward to it. Even in F3 races there was a lot of people, a lot of spectators, good atmosphere. I have good memories from there. It’s going to be nice.”

Valtteri Bottas, Masters of F3

Valtteri Bottas, Masters of F3

Photo by: Stella-Maria Thomas

shares
comments
Get the best seats in the house for the French GP

Previous article

Get the best seats in the house for the French GP

Next article

Red Bull: Design strengths blunted by new F1 aero/tyres

Red Bull: Design strengths blunted by new F1 aero/tyres
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Prime

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship.

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021