Lewis Hamilton finished on top of the time charts of the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands in the first free practice session (FP1).
Max Verstappen was in second position, just 0.097 seconds behind the Briton. Carlos Sainz was 0.101 seconds behind in third position.
The thirteenth race of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship saw the Formula 1 teams return to this venue for the first time since 1985. The scheduled return of the Formula 1 race in 2020 was stymied by the Covid19 pandemic.
The sixty-minute long free practice session started under clear skies with the air temperature at 18 degrees C and the track temperature at 25 degrees C.
The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C1), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C2), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C3).
After the incessant downpour at the previous race im Spa that saw a severely curtailed race, it was a relief for the drivers to get some laps in.
The drivers were on a mixture of hard and medium compound tyres. The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Red Bull Racing drivers were on the hard compound tyres.
The track is close to the seaside and the wind was blowing a lot of sand and dust onto the track.
Verstappen sent the crowd into raptures as he went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m13.045s. Bottas briefly held the top spot before being displaced by Vertsappen again.
As the drivers were learning the new circuit, a few drivers like Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon had spins. Sebastian Vettel suffered a power unit failure and brought out the red flags.
Lando Norris went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m12.679s just before the session was suspended.
The session was resumed with just six minutes of the session remaining. The drivers were all on the soft compound tyres and were led by Kimi Räikkönen onto the circuit.
Sainz set the fastest lap when the session resumed before the two Mercedes drivers went to the top of the time charts. Hamilton with a lap time of 1m11.500s set the fastest lap of the session.
Verstappen ended the session just 0.097 seconds behind Hamilton. The two Ferrari drivers, Sainz and Charles Leclerc, took third and fourth position on the second flying lap.
Bottas finished in fifth position. The two Alpine F1 drivers, Fernando Alonso and Ocon, were in sixth and seventh position.
Antonio Giovinazzi, Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly rounded off the top ten positions. Tsunoda did not set a timed lap after an issue with his car.
A significant amount of the time was lost under the red flag. On a new track, the lost time can have a significant impact on the preparation for the drivers.
2021 Dutch GP Free Practice 1 Results:
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||01:11.500||17|
|2||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing||01:11.597||+0.097s||17|
|3||55||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||01:11.601||+0.101s||19|
|4||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||01:11.623||+0.123s||18|
|5||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||01:11.738||+0.238s||17|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Alpine F1 Team||01:12.158||+0.658s||18|
|7||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine F1 Team||01:12.231||+0.731s||17|
|8||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||01:12.359||+0.859s||18|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||01:12.431||+0.931s||17|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||01:12.515||+1.015s||18|
|11||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||01:12.679||+1.179s||17|
|12||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||01:12.907||+1.407s||16|
|13||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||01:13.053||+1.553s||19|
|14||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||01:13.081||+1.581s||17|
|15||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||01:13.181||+1.681s||15|
|16||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull Racing||01:13.328||+1.828s||17|
|17||9||Nikita Mazepin||RAF||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||01:13.516||+2.016s||14|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||01:13.847||+2.347s||16|
|19||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||01:15.984||+4.484s||6|
|20||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||3|