09/02/2021 at 11:55 AM CEST
Max Verstappen (Red Bull), winner of the grotesque race in Belgium last Sunday, he arrives this weekend at the home circuit, in Zandvoort (Netherlands), just three points behind the leader and seven-time world champion Lewis hamilton (Mercedes).
The World Cup ‘closed’ for holidays after a crazy and bumpy race in Hungary, in which Hamilton regained the lead that Verstappen had snatched from him five races earlier, in Monaco. After the three-week summer break, the rain, oneUnthinkable deluge, ruined the Belgian Grand Prix, which resulted in the distribution of half the points according to the order of the grid.
The sad show from Belgium
The race, which was due to start at three in the afternoon, did not start until 18:17 (16:17 GMT), after several postponements and a couple of interruptions. And it was resolved with three laps behind the safety car in order to qualify: He was declared the winner Verstappen, in front of George Russell (Williams) and Hamilton. Verstappen he added twelve and a half points, instead of 25, and is now three points behind the 202.5 with which he leads Hamilton.
Although all the drivers admitted that it was impossible to roll, due to the lack of visibility – due to the enormous amount of water spitting out from the extreme rain tires – almost no one thought it normal that points would be distributed and a podium ceremony would be held. Carlos Sainz declared that he didn’t deserve that half a point without running and Fernando Alonso considered that “many have had Christmas early, because they give you the points without running is a shock.” ‘Mad Max’ He pointed out that “it is good to win, but not like that” and Hamilton asked that “the public get their money back.”
The fiasco took on such a dimension that the French Jean Todt, President of the FIA He openly raised the possibility of a reform of the Formula 1 regulations to avoid such absurd situations as that of Spa-Francorchamps. And he announced that this matter will be added to the agenda of the next F1 Commission meeting, on October 5.
The return to Zandvoort
So, given what has been seen, everyone wants the premier class to regain its normality in the Netherlands, the second stop of the ‘triptych’ that is completed the following weekend in Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix. This Friday, F1 returns 36 years later to Zandvoort, a renewed, short circuit of 4,259 meters and 14 curves (10 to the right), in which it will be difficult to overtake. On Sunday it is planned to do 72 laps, to complete a route of 306.6 kilometers.
It will be the thirty-fifth edition of the Netherlands Grand Prix, the thirty-first in the F1 World Cup. The first winner was Prince Bira of Siam, in 1948; and the first to climb to the top of the podium in a Formula 1 Grand Prix held in the Netherlands was the Italian Giuseppe Farina, in 1952.Zandvoort has not hosted a Grand Prix since 1985, when the mythical Niki Lauda signed – starting from tenth place – his twenty-fifth and last victory in F1, the year of his second and final retirement. The Austrian genius won ahead of the French Alain Prost and Brazilian Ayrton Senna, which completed a historic podium whose members total ten World Cups.
That day, the Viennese star equaled the three victories of Jackie Stewart in Zandvoort, where no one has won as many times (four) as another Scotsman, Jim clark. And where this Friday free practice will start, in which, in the dry (no one wants to hear about rain), it will be rolled with the most rigid range of compound tires: C1 -hard, recognizable by the white stripe-, C2 -medium , yellow stripe- and C3 -soft, red-.
The ‘orange army’ will crowd Zandvoort to cheer on their countryman Max Verstappen, which states that “it would be incredible to win again at another local circuit”; after having done it this year in Spa, usually taken over by the Dutch fans; and in the two races in Austria, at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg (Styria), owned by his team, Red Bull.
Carlos Sainz, who turned 27 on Wednesday and that this course -with his second place in Monaco and the third in Hungary- has raised his number of podiums in F1 to four, he hopes to maintain a progression that places him, for the moment, in sixth place in the contest, with 83 points and average, 1.5 more than his Monegasque colleague in the ‘Scuderia’, Charles Leclerc.
Alonso – eleventh (38) -, who at 40 and after two years of absence, continues to amaze on the track, hopes to return to the points in the Netherlands; after the only thing that came to light in Belgium was to become the second driver in history with the most races contested, undoing in his favor the tie that joined the Brazilian Rubens Barrichello. He adds 323 and follows 18 from Finn Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 41, who on Wednesday announced that he will retire at the end of this season.