Mick Schumacher reckons the word rollercoaster is very befitting of the Circuit Zandvoort after the German experienced the updated track for the first time on Friday.
The Uralkali Haas F1 Team racer has raced at Zandvoort before in the past, most recently during his championship-winning FIA Formula 3 European Championship campaign in 2018, but since then the track has changed, with banking being applied to two of its corners.
Schumacher ended his afternoon session with the seventeenth fastest time of the day having been eighteenth in the morning, and he hopes the team can find some additional pace overnight.
“I think the word rollercoaster really fits for here!” said Schumacher. “It was a decent day, still lots to learn about this new track but I’m sure it’s the same for everyone.
“I still think we need to tweak it a little bit to get everything we can out of it, but I think we’re on a good road. We still have some margin but I’m sure we will find it.
“Things might look different tomorrow but for today we can be very happy.”
“It was a lot more fun than I expected” – Nikita Mazepin
Team-mate Nikita Mazepin was also impressed by the new layout at Zandvoort, with the Russian rookie admitting it was a very different, if not challenging, opening day of the Dutch Grand Prix weekend.
Formula 1 is making a return to The Netherlands for the first time since 1985 this weekend, and Mazepin ended the first session seventeenth fastest, although he dropped behind Schumacher and into nineteenth in the afternoon.
Mazepin says he was pleasantly surprised by the track on Friday, with the Russian enjoying his time on the track as he prepares for his thirteenth Formula 1 race start this weekend.
“It was a lot more fun than I expected,” said Mazepin. “The first time I passed the banking in the last corner I experienced something very different with my body – it felt quite cool! A new feeling for me, for sure, in Formula 1.
“Overall, it was quite a challenging day. I was very happy with the car in FP1 and then we made some changes which didn’t quite do what we expected given the track has improved. Loads learned and looking forward to getting out there in FP3.”