Lando Norris topped the second practice session for the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix with Max Verstappen second fastest as Ferrari struggled.
To keep matters in perspective, the reigning Formula 1 Champion did not have a clean hot lap and also was not happy with the setup of his RB19.
But that doesn’t take anything away from Norris, who seemed to be enjoying some decent performance from his McLaren MCL60, leading the chasing pack behind the Red Bull.
After showing some decent pace in FP1, Fernando Alonso dropped back in FP2, while some of the midfield cars, such as Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon, and Pierre Gasly mixed it up with the big boys in the top ten, on a day where Ferrari was nowhere to be seen.
Norris was fastest from Verstappen with Albon third fastest in the Williams, while Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were only 11th and 16th.
However the long runs showed that Red Bull still hold a huge advantage over their rivals.
Buildup towards FP2
FP1 was business as usual for Verstappen who was in strong form from the word go, but it was an interesting situation behind him as it seemed Aston Martin are back in contention with Mercedes as Alonso was second fastest in the upgraded AMR23.
But it would be wise to wait for the rest of the weekend to see whether the Green car has genuinely improved, especially that McLaren didn’t seem to to show their hand yet, the same applying to Ferrari.
Sainz should be back behind the wheel of the SF-23 after handing it over to Robert Shwarztman during the first practice session.
Shwartzman reflected on his Ferrari F1 outing, he said: “It was interesting. It was very challenging let’s say honestly. First time with SF-23, first time here in Zandvoort with this configuration.
“From my side I just enjoyed driving here, to drive a Formula 1 car is always fun. A bit unfortunate we didn’t manage to do a performance run, but there is another [practice session] coming so hopefully there I am going to get the chance and we can focus more on the lap time, than on set-up options and race pace,” he added.
After getting closer to Verstappen in the final couple of races before the summer break, Perez was over four tenths slower than his teammate. in FP1, so will the Mexican pick up the pace in FP2?
Zandvoort FP2 session highlights
FP2 started in similar conditions to FP1, with track temperatures at 32 degrees while the ambient temperatures were 20 degrees.
The drivers did not waste any time to get out on track once the session was green lighted with a mix of Hard and Medium tyre compounds bolted to the cars.
Verstappen, on his first attempt at a timed lap, had a close call with Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg, the latter on the racing line and driving slowly. The Dutchman wasn’t happy over the team radio and the German will be investigated by the the stewards after the session.
A little over ten minutes into the session, the Red flag was up, as Oscar Piastri lost the rear of his MCL60 at Turn 3 and crashed it heavily into the barriers.
Daniel Ricciardo who was behind his compatriot on the track, and was going to the outside line, which is where the stricken McLaren was positioned, the AlphaTauri also crashing into the barrier.
🚩 RED FLAG 🚩
Piastri loses it by himself with his barrier hit, and replays show a distracted Ricciardo doing the same