Mercedes is back! Well, at least for one activity. The two Silver Arrows remained and finished in the first two places of the free practice that opened the track activities of the Formula 1 Dutch GP, this Friday morning (2), in Zandvoort. George Russell led with almost 0s4 for the best placed of another team, but still had Lewis Hamilton appearing in second place.
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This does not mean, however, that Mercedes spent all the time in the lead. In reality, Russell’s first competitive lap appeared with about 18 minutes left on the clock — and Hamilton took longer. But once they got into a run of soft tire laps, they easily beat the competition. Russell walked in 1min12s455, 0s240 better than Lewis.
Third place went to Carlos Sainz, with Ferrari, who spent a good part of the training in the lead. Behind Sainz, the top-10 still featured Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Pérez, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Alexander Albon.
Championship leader Max Verstappen had transmission problems, stopped the car on the track in the early half of practice and caused a red flag that lasted nearly ten minutes. On top of that, he stayed off the track until the end of the session.
O BIG PRIZE accompanies LIVE and IN REAL TIME all activities of the Formula 1 Dutch GP. Soon, FP2 is scheduled for 11 am [de Brasília, GMT-3].
Check out how TL1 went:
If there was a worry of rain to start the Dutch GP weekend, tempers were calmed when Friday dawned: no chance of water on the track throughout the day and clear path for plenty of mileage for drivers and teams on both sides. initial activities in Zandvoort.
Moments before the green flag, there was still a small test of the DRS zone on the last corner of the circuit. Just a security check on account of the change of mobile wing opening zone locations in this year’s race. Another issue in theory linked to security was the warning to the public arriving in Zandvoort to hand over the flags when entering. It didn’t seem very effective.
When the green flag appeared, a lot of people already decided to take the track for the initial tests. The first to lead in the opening wave of free practice was Fernando Alonso, who walked in the space of 1min17s. Turns still pretty high, though. Max Verstappen had to deal with traffic caused by Lance Stroll that got in the way of the first attempt.
Mick Schumacher, who is with Future in Formula 1 in voguecaused a quick yellow flag as he escaped the runway for a parade in fake gravel. Meanwhile, the soft tires still didn’t appear. Alonso had ridden in the medium, while Lance Norris took the lead on the hard tyres. With ten minutes into the session, the McLaren driver had the lead with 1min15s646.
But, with a lot of people on the track, the laps dropped. Verstappen quickly jumped to the front before being overtaken by Daniel Ricciardo, but regained the position on the next lap. With 1min14s714, he imposed a lead of 0s5.
And his participation would soon end. As he rounded the home track at the later turn, Verstappen had problems and had to stop the Red Bull car right at the dreaded angled corner, three. Max got out of the car and caused a red flag. Later, the team warned that it was a transmission problem. Anyway, training was stopped.
For the next ten minutes, the only action in F1 was a warning that Schumacher might have exited the pit lane with a red flag. Before the return of activities, however, the conclusion that there would not even be an investigation. Valtteri Bottas took the lead, with around 40 minutes of practice still on the clock, to shake up the track again.
So, soft tires. It was time for the red band rubber which, this weekend of the toughest range brought by Pirelli, is the C3 tyre. Alonso jumped to the front with 1min13s635. Alexander Albon boarded it and soon appeared in second place. At this point, however, times were plummeting. It went on like that for a few minutes.
Until Carlos Sainz made the Ferrari engine roar. By recording 1min12s845, he stopped with the change of guard in the lead for some time. Norris came in second as the halfway mark appeared. In addition to the two, Ricciardo, Alonso, Sergio Pérez, Schumacher, Esteban Ocon, Albon, Verstappen and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top-10. A start that indicated a good fight between McLaren and Alpine.
The name of Verstappen left the top 10 with 25 minutes of practice to go. Magnussen first improved his time and passed, but the final blow would come from Yuki Tsunoda and AlphaTauri. What was going on with the other Red Bull car, by the way? Without shining a bit, Pérez still appeared making mistakes and going off track.
Also missing was Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell arrived at Zandvoort with good expectations about how well they could perform, but they were still under the radar after 40 minutes. Charles Leclerc, however, appeared when he scored a lap on soft tyres. Even so, he still jumped to just almost 0s3 behind Sainz in fourth place.
Mercedes appeared for good with just over 15 minutes to go. Russell jumped to third place when he rode the softs, something Hamilton, in 18th place, had not done so far. Like him, Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Guanyu Zhou – the latter with little time on the track in FP1 – had not tried either.
Russell stayed on track for a second effort on soft tires and, when he nailed it, he had no choice: he sent the W13 to a time of 1min12s455 and took the lead from Sainz. Hamilton came in tow, put 1min12s695 on the timesheets and took second place. While Pierre Gasly escaped the track and threw dust in the air, Mercedes took control of the actions in Zandvoort.
In fact, the two Mercedes drivers walked in the opposite direction of the others, who didn’t seem very thirsty for a quick lap in the last few minutes. So nothing has changed. Russell and Hamilton were ahead of Sainz, Norris, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Pérez, Alonso, Ocon and Albon in a well-defined top-10 for the main teams on the grid and with the Thai entering the space of Verstappen.
F1 2022, Dutch GP, Zandvoort, FP1:
|4||L NORRIS||McLaren Mercedes||1:12,929||+0.474||32|
|7||S PEREZ||red bull||1:13,416||+0,961||30|
|11||M SCHUMACHER||Haas Ferrari||1:14,163||+1,708||29|
|12||L STROL||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:14,257||+1,802||30|
|13||K MAGNUSEN||Haas Ferrari||1:14,405||+1,950||31|
|14||P GASLY||AlphaTauri Honda||1:14,474||+2019||28|
|15||S VETTEL||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:14,500||+2,045||28|
|16||G ZHOU||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:14,534||+2,079||18|
|17||Y TSUNODA||AlphaTauri Honda||1:14,630||+2,175||31|
|18||V BOOTS||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:14,695||+2,240||22|
|19||M VERSTAPPEN||red bull||1:14,714||+2,259||7|
|20||N LATIFI||Williams Mercedes||1:15,122||+2,667||33|
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