Sebastian Vettel felt it was a positive day for the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team at the Circuit Zandvoort on Friday, despite the German losing most of the morning session due to an engine issue.
The four-time World Champion stopped on track early on during Friday mornings session and caused a lengthy red flag, but he was able to get back on track in the afternoon and break into the top ten despite two further red flags interruptions.
Vettel says the changes to the Zandvoort circuit have been positive, and he believes more circuits would benefit from having banked turns, having enjoyed running on the new banking so far this weekend.
“I think overall that was a decent afternoon session,” said Vettel. “We had some catching up to do because of the power unit issue this morning. So I had to find the rhythm quickly and it helped that I have driven here before many years ago.
“They did not change too much on the track [layout], but I think the changes they have made are for the better. It is an exciting lap because of the banking and corners with camber are always good fun to drive. We need more circuits with these types of corners.
“The crowd was great, too, and I am enjoying the atmosphere. There is more to come from me and the car so it will be interesting to see what we can find overnight.”
“I felt comfortable in the car and I think we have a good baseline” – Lance Stroll
Team-mate Lance Stroll finished inside the top ten in the morning session but was caught out by the red flags in the afternoon, with the Canadian losing the chance to improve on his fourteenth place due to the stoppage to recover the stricken car of Nikita Mazepin.
Despite this, Stroll felt Aston Martin have started the Dutch Grand Prix weekend with a good baseline set-up, and he already feels comfortable behind the steering wheel heading into what he is expected to be a very important Qualifying session.
“It was a positive day to start the weekend and I really enjoyed the experience of driving at Zandvoort once again,” said Stroll. “Track time was limited in FP1, we finished ninth, and we looked strong in FP2 until we were caught out by the red flag when I was on a quick lap.
“I felt comfortable in the car and I think we have a good baseline. We know that qualifying is going to be key to success here because overtaking will be so difficult, but there is some degradation, which might make strategy a bit more of a factor.
“We have got plenty of data to look at tonight and we will aim to take another step forward tomorrow.”