Sun, sand and sea. Formula 1 is getting ready for Max Verstappen's second home game with a holiday feeling in Zandvoort. We have the first impressions from Holland.
The cityscape in Zandvoort is usually dominated by sunshades. No wonder, after all, the town by the sea is a popular holiday village. This weekend, however, there is a state of emergency. Black and white checkered flags fly from balconies throughout the town, while garlands in the same design adorn the streets.
In between, fan posters that are supposed to cheer on local hero Max Verstappen. If you like it more unusual, you can simply buy an orange bathrobe with a leopard collar at the numerous stands to clearly show your colors for the Netherlands.
Zandvoort is the kingdom of Verstappen
Even before the race, Zandvoort is the kingdom of Max Verstappen. And with three wins in a row under his belt, a championship lead of 93 points and success at his home race last year, no one else can be a favourite.
Of course the competition still wants to make life difficult for the Red Bull driver. First and foremost Ferrari, who should be able to handle the spectacular track with the banked curves, which requires a lot of downforce. Only in Monaco and Budapest is there more contact pressure.
Speaking of banked corners: In the first practice session, the FIA wants to try to release the DRS already in the banked finish corner in order to provoke more overtaking manoeuvres. Because they were in short supply on the 4.259-kilometer route, which celebrated its comeback on the calendar in 2021. Means: Qualifying is extremely important at the Dutch GP. It is also the premiere for the new generation of vehicles, which could change the situation again.
Snapshots with the fans
There was already a lot of activity in the pit lane. Most of the teams have already fully assembled the cars and are still working on the details for optimal preparation. The drivers already got an impression of the track during the usual tour. There were new gravel beds to be discovered, from which the gravel should not come loose.
Mick Schumacher and Carlos Sainz were among the first visitors to the paddock. Incidentally, Sainz is celebrating his 28th birthday this Thursday. Esteban Ocon took plenty of time for souvenir photos in the pit lane with the fans.
The step counters in Zandvoort are happy anyway. Behind the pit lane are only the teams' trucks with the tire stores. The actual paddock with the teams' hospitality is located in another area a few hundred meters away. The first impressions can be found in the gallery.