Zandvoort FP2: Norris fastest, Ferrari lacking performance

Jaden Diaz
25 Aug, 2023

Lando Norris was fastest in the second session of the GP Dutch weekend – the Englishman was just 0.023 faster than Max Verstappen in the RB19. Alexander Albon was an impressive third, followed by Hamilton, Tsunoda, Gasly, Perez, Stroll, Bottas and Alonso. Generally speaking, the times from FP2 are difficult to read.

The only two teams without a driver in the top ten were Ferrari and Haas, both struggling on a circuit that requires aerodynamic load that they are unable to generate. Enrico Cardile explained the problems and mistakes made in the construction of this year’s car, and the choices made with a view to 2024 to ensure more potential for the Red and try to catch up on the Red Bull. 

FP2 Zandvoort: Piastri against the wall followed by Ricciardo, Ferrari in extreme difficulty  

FP2 at Zandvoort, ‘home’ of the current world champion, showed a lot of activity on the track, especially from the teams that have brought new updates and were trying to find the ideal set-up not yet found.

The first minutes of the session saw Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull take to the track with yellow tyres, with Lewis Hamilton, who gets ahead of everyone, always demonstrating excellent competitiveness on highly loaded circuits.

After 12 minutes, Oscar Piastri made a mistake in turn three, damaging first the rear and then the front of his MCL60 after starting the afternoon session very well (fifth position after the first runs, ahead of his teammate by several tenths) of Friday.

The McLaren Australian blocked the trajectory of the corner, leading his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo to make a mistake, who was also blocked in the same spot a few seconds later. Number 3 also suffered a blow to the left wrist during the impact and was taken to the medical centre for tests.

Immediately after the red flag, the various qualifying simulations began with a Williams in very good shape today – as often happens on Fridays – especially with Alexander Albon, who finished the session in third position, also showing good race pace. 

Lando Norris, at this point, secured an impressive 1:11.330. In second was Max Verstappen, just two hundredths from the British driver.

In the middle of the session, Ferrari also decides to go out on track with the red tire (they hadn’t been used in FP1), again showing the enormous difficulty both on the front and on the rear shown in FP1, with both drivers unable to put together a clean ride.

We recall that the Italian team mounts a medium downforce configuration compared to the other opponents who are adopting a high downforce set-up: the forced choice of the more unloaded wing is due to the usual basic problems with the project, but despite the difficulties a Ferrari so undrivable had never been seen in 2023.

Race pace analysis | by Tony Sokolov

With around a quarter of an hour to go, most of the teams tested their race pace with all three types of compound.

Mercedes and McLaren (up from the morning) are very similar. Red Bull went fastest, in typical fashion, whilst Ferrari struggled.