Although Carlos Sainz indicated ahead of the weekend that Ferrari might struggle at the challenging Zandvoort track, the Scuderia impressed with their one-lap pace in the afternoon with Charlec Leclerc topping the session in front of his Spanish team mate.
The start of FP2 was delayed by five minutes, but the full hour was allocated. There is rarely such a rush in a practice session that the 20 drivers produced when the lights went green at the start of the afternoon session for the Dutch Grand Prix. The weather prediction indicated sunny conditions, but drivers were in a rush to maximize the track time after the long red flag period caused by the reliability problem of Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin AMR21.
The majority of the drivers decided to use the yellow-banded medium compound for their first stint on which Mercedes racer Valtteri Bottas dictatetd the early pace. However, the session needed to be red-flagged after just six minutes when Lewis Hamilton was forced to park his car due to an oil system problem.
UPDATE: Lewis reported a loss of power and was told to stop the car. https://t.co/AqTVqaI7so— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) September 3, 2021
The red flag period lasted eight minutes with drivers eager to head back on to one of the shortest tracks ont he current F1 calendar. While some drivers continued their running on their used Medium compound, Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas thought it was time to conduct their low-fuel soft-tyre qualifying simulation.
The Finn managed to improve his previous time, but only by two tenths of a second, indicating that he was using a lower engine mode just as the Anglo-German team did a week ago at Spa. By contrast, the Hungarian Grand Prix winner was not interested in hiding his Alpine’s speed, going fastest by setting a time of 1m11.074, which was half a second faster than what Hamilton achieved in FP1.
The session was then interrupted again when Nikita Mazepin beached his Haas in the Turn 12 gravel trap. When the lights switched to green again, the field quickly re-appeared at the Zandvoort track to round off its qualifying simulation.
After showing impressive pace in the opening practice, Ferrari reconfirmed their great early performance with Leclerc posting the fastest time. His team mate Sainz, who has just turned 27 years old, came in second even with a mistake at the final chicane.
Ocon and Bottas, who went for an early soft tyre qualifying run, kept their third and fourth place in the standings. Verstappen was unable to go faster than fifth as his first low-fuel run was also interrupted by the second red flag, meaning that he set his fastest lap on a used set of C3 compound.
Fernando Alonso ended up P6, followed by Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris, who was only 0.586s slower than Leclerc’s benchmark.
Although Lance Stroll took only 14th for Aston Martin, he seemed to have a great pace, but his first effort on the softs was disrupted by the red flag caused by Mazepin. Racking up a total of 25 laps in Free Practice 2, Daniel Ricciardo took 15th with his McLaren MCL35M. While Antonio Giovinazzi set the 9th quickest lap time, the soon-to-be-retiree Kimi Raikkonen finished only 16th for Alfa Romeo.
The Williams and Haas pair finished in sequence, with Mick Schumacher 17th, Nicholas Latifi 18th, Schumacher's team make Nikita Mazepin 19th and George Russell last in 20th-place.
|3||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:11.074||+0.172s||32|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:11.264||+0.362s||27|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:11.280||+0.378s||29|
|7||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Honda||1:11.462||+0.560s||28|
|8||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:11.488||+0.586s||26|
|9||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:11.678||+0.776s||29|
|10||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:11.713||+0.811s||23|
|12||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:11.946||+1.044s||26|
|13||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda||1:12.096||+1.194s||30|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:12.136||+1.234s||28|
|15||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:12.157||+1.255s||24|
|16||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:12.206||+1.304s||30|
|17||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:12.607||+1.705s||30|
|18||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:12.610||+1.708s||26|
|19||9||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||1:12.835||+1.933s||12|
|20||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:12.855||+1.953s||29|