Dunes, banked corners, old-school feeling and a massive party on the grandstands: Zandvoort is fun, we can all agree on that. The first impact of modern Formula One with the Dutch circuit has left drivers happy, fans thrilled and teams excited about the challenge of this modern classic.
In a celebration atmosphere, with grandstands filled to the brim with orange-clad fans, music blasting through the air, Formula One returned to the Netherlands and it was a good day. The sun shone warmly, a far cry from the deluge of Belgium, and the cars tackled the circuit, eager to bring home data about the vast unknown.
It was not an easy task: red flags wiped out most of the morning session and interruptions hampered progress in FP2 as well: but in the end, it was a positive day with decent mileage, given the circumstances, and even some encouraging feedback from the stopwatch.
Much remains to be done, of course, and tomorrow is when things really start to matter: but it's a good start nonetheless, something we aim to build on for the rest of the weekend.
The atmosphere on the grandstands reminded us of just how great a Formula One race weekend can be: what we know, is that we need to keep this party going.
Kimi Raikkonen: "We did a good job today, despite all the interruptions with the red flags. It's quite a different track from what we usually drive on, but it's nice: it's not an easy one to put a lap together but driving on something new is a good challenge, and the crowd really makes an atmosphere.. As always on a Friday, we still have to find a few improvements here and there: it's normal and we can make a step forward for qualifying. The objective remains the same, to have a place in Q2 - we'll see how it goes tomorrow."
Antonio Giovinazzi: "It's been a positive Friday, this track is really cool to drive, especially with these cars. From the moment we arrive, it feels like a party and it's a huge credit to the Dutch fans, they really welcomed Formula One back. The track is enjoyable but it's not an easy one on which to put everything together: still, we did a good job and we're satisfied with where we are, both in the race runs and on the single lap. Tomorrow, of course, is another day, but we had a good start and we can build on it: hopefully we can have a good qualifying as overtaking is not easy here, so Saturday's result will be crucial. We will give it our best."
Check out our Friday gallery from Zandvoort, here.