Dutch GP 2021 - AlphaTauri preview
“It doesn’t matter that Formula 1 is the most high-tech sport in the world, no one can control the weather. It was a real shame that we couldn’t race, especially so for all the fans who turned out and waited patiently. And for us it was also disappointing because we had a strong weekend up to that point, with another sixth place on the grid. I was convinced I had a chance of doing something really good in the race.
At least we don’t have long to wait to race again, so I will take the positives from our Spa performance and transfer them now to Zandvoort. I raced there in 2012 in Formula Renault 2.0, so quite a long time ago! The track layout has changed a lot since then and I’ve experienced it on the simulator. I think the whole weekend should be an amazing experience, being the first Dutch Grand Prix since Max has been in Formula 1. It’s going to be an interesting weekend, a replay of Monaco in some respects, as the straights are very short and the track itself is very narrow, so overtaking will be particularly complicated. That means Qualifying will be especially important and, as we seem to perform quite well in that respect, it could turn out to be a good thing for us. Another factor is that being by the sea, we can expect to find a dusty track surface on Friday, with sand blowing onto the asphalt, so conditions will evolve over the weekend.”
“Racing in Japan, you get used to driving in the rain, but the visibility on Sunday in Spa was just too poor to race. I was looking forward so much to my first race in a Formula 1 car on that circuit, as part of my learning experience in my rookie year, but ultimately safety is the most important factor. From what we could tell in free practice in Belgium, our team still looks competitive in the midfield, so now we get to go again in the Netherlands and see what we can do.
I have never driven at Zandvoort, in any category. Since they have modified the track layout, it should be a new experience for all the drivers, not just the rookies like me. It looks unusual from the simulator, with a lot of banking, which is quite steep and that will need good skills to maximise in terms of carrying speed into the next part of the track. I think I am quite good at adapting reasonably quickly to a track I have never seen before. But I must make sure I don’t lose any track time through mistakes, because it will be important to learn as much as possible in free practice. Also, in Zandvoort, the track walk will be even more useful than usual, because the simulator cannot give you a complete picture of what a new circuit is like. The simulator helps but the walk gives you a full picture.”
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