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Zandvoort FP2: Norris fastest from Verstappen, Ferrari nowhere

Zandvoort FP2: Norris fastest from Verstappen, Ferrari nowhere

Zandvoort FP2: Norris fastest from Verstappen, Ferrari nowhere

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.

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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.

Ricciardo may have a sore right hand as he said over the team radio that he kept it on the steering when the impact happened…

The session was restarted with 37 minutes remaining on the clock, as all the drivers set out on track with Soft tyres to put some qualifying runs in.

Verstappen wasn’t happy with the car he reported: “No, the car is just, in the medium speed, doing some weird things. I think we maybe move it rearwards. Maybe it’s the brakes. I don’t know.”

At that point, he was second fastest, 0.023s behind Norris.

Soon, Sainz on a hot lap, missed his braking point going into Turn 12 and ends up cutting the corner through the gravel trap.

In the final 20 minutes, the teams set out on their long runs, with George Russell complaining to his team that they have out him close to Lewis Hamilton on track.

“You’ve put us both on top of each other here,” he said.

As usual the long runs show that Verstappen has a huge advantage, three tenths faster than Perez, four tenths faster than Norris, and over half a second faster than Hamilton.

In the dying moments of the session, Sainz had another off-track excursion, going into the gravel trap at Turn 13.

How they finished

Norris posted a 1:11.330 to go fastest in FP2, while Verstappen was 0.023s behind him in second, while Albon surprised yet again, third fastest, 0.269s off the pace.

Hamilton was fourth fastest in the Mercedes, three tenths slower than Norris’ time, 0.082s ahead of an impressive Yuki Tsunoda in fifth.

Gasly was sixth fastest for Alpine, with 1:11.766 and 0.051 ahead of Perez who was seventh fastest in the #11 Red Bull RB19.

Lance Stroll, who did not set a time in FP1, was eighth fastest in the Aston Martin, half a second off the pace and 0.022s faster than Valtteri Bottas in ninth.

Alonso was tenth fastest in the sister Aston Martin, 0.028s slower than his teammate.

FP2 Results

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