Charles Leclerc edged teammate Carlos Sainz to record a Ferrari one-two in second practice for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. Home hero Max Verstappen struggled to eighth on a difficult day for Red Bull Racing in front of the Dutchman’s home crowd.
Leclerc started his qualifying simulation a lap later than most of the rest of the field to pip Sainz, hitherto at the top of the table, by just 0.004s before embarking on his high-fuel runs.
Ferrari is expecting to perform strongly at Zandvoort, where the twisting, undulating circuit will boost its car’s downforce strengths and the lack of long straights will ameliorate its efficiency weakness.
Mercedes positioned itself as Ferrari’s closest challenger, with Lewis Hamilton lapping just 0.072s slower than the benchmark at the end of his qualifying run. The Briton battled radio issues through the session and ended the hour with just 21 laps, the lowest total among drivers who didn’t suffer technical problems or crash.
George Russell was fifth and 0.3s off the pace. Lando Norris split him from his teammate, the McLaren driver continuing his team’s impressive start to the weekend with fourth at just 0.1s adrift form Leclerc.
Lance Stroll was a lofty sixth for Aston Martin, beating Alpine’s Fernando Alonso by 0.1s. Verstappen followed in eighth with a relatively slim 22 laps after spending much time in his garage making setup changes in response to his car’s lack of competitiveness.
Esteban Ocon was ninth in the second Alpine, 0.4s slower than teammate Alonso. Daniel Ricciardo was 10th, but the Australian ended his session after just 10 laps thanks to an oil leak in his McLaren’s radiator that couldn’t be repaired before the end of the hour.
Yuki Tsunoda similarly had his session truncated, albeit because the Japanese driver put his AlphaTauri into the gravel. Tsunoda was attempting to overcorrect a slide through Turn 10 and beached his car, causing a 10-minute red flag that disrupted the session’s long-run simulations.
Sergio Perez was 12th and 1.1s off the pace, beating Haas driver Mick Schumacher and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel.
Zhou Guanyu was 15th for Alfa Romeo ahead of Pierre Gasly, who lost the first half of his session stuck in his garage with technical problems in his AlphaTauri.
Alex Albon was 17th for Williams ahead of Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Nicholas Latifi, who brought up the rear of the field.