After the non-race of Spa-Francorchamps which saw his lead in the standings reduced over Max Verstappen following the highly questionable choice of assigning half the score, Lewis Hamilton was waiting for Zandvoort’s appointment to restore the distance from the Dutchman.
Friday, however, did not go according to expectations. In the morning, the drivers were forced to skip more than half of FP1 due to an interruption of over 30 minutes made necessary to allow the marshals to remove Vettel’s car which was stopped due to a power unit problem.
In the afternoon it was Lewis Hamilton’s turn to raise the white flag in the opening minutes. The seven-time world champion was only able to complete three laps, first to radio his garage of a loss of power and then pull up the Mercedes W12 on the track.
“It was not the ideal day, especially for how the second session ended. I lost power and the team asked me to stop the car. But it’s not the end of the world ”.
On an unprecedented track for everyone, Hamilton was able to cover very few laps and will thus be forced to chase a Max Verstappen who instead totaled 18 laps in the morning and 28 in the afternoon. To try not to start at a disadvantage from the Dutchman, Lewis admitted that in the evening briefing the data collected by Bottas on this day will be analyzed in detail.
“This morning I was only able to lap twenty minutes due to the long red flag break. We will be forced to chase, but Valtteri seemed very competitive in both rounds, he rode a lot and has a lot of data, especially on the long run, which we will analyze. We hope to make up for lost time tomorrow ”.
Lewis did not seem disheartened by the technical problem, but underlined how the failure suffered in the afternoon prevented him from comparing the set-up changes made between the two sessions.
“I didn’t have bad driving sensations, but in the second session we tried some changes but I was only able to test for one lap. It is difficult to understand what were the positive and negative aspects of that change “.
If on the side of the Hamilton box there is a hint of bitterness for a day thrown in the wind, from that of Bottas there are good sensations at the end of this Friday.
The Finn, who is likely to leave Mercedes at the end of the year, admitted that he enjoyed driving on a very technical track like that of Zandvoort and that he appreciated the fact that the gaps between the various teams are extremely small.
“I hope it’s nice to see from the outside because it’s a lot of fun in the car and tomorrow will be even better in qualifying. There are a lot of different corners to tackle at great speed and it’s great ”.
“It is not difficult to find the rhythm on this track and it was nice to see that the gaps between the different teams are quite small.”
Finally, the only bitter note for Bottas was that he was unable to fully test the behavior of his Mercedes in qualifying simulation.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to run many qualifying simulations and when we tried the race simulation we did it with just one car. Even though it was a session interrupted by two red flags we have a lot of data to analyze tonight ”.