With Zandvoort proving to be extremely difficult to overtake at, Saturday’s qualifying proved decisive. With both Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel hampered by factors outside of their control, the duo had work to do in the Grand Prix. Both drivers battled hard but were unable to secure points in the 2021 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix.
It was one of those days which shows that if you start further back it is really hard to recover, especially on a track where overtaking is so tricky. I had to take a lot of risks when overtaking, but if you qualify out of position it is difficult to come back. When I did have some clean air, in the final part of the race, the pace was very competitive and I found a good rhythm. From where we started, we had to try to do something different with the strategy and I was happy with our approach.
We can see from the race just how important qualifying is and unfortunately we were compromised yesterday, so we had it all to do today. I made an OK start off the line, but I was not able to make up any places. After that, I could only really follow George [Russell] for the majority of the race in a train of cars. Without a significant tyre delta, it is almost impossible to overtake here. We will look into the strategy to see what else we could have done, but I do not think we could have done a lot differently. Zandvoort is a great track to drive and it is definitely more of a Saturday circuit. I am happy to see it on the calendar, but perhaps there are ways to look into improving overtaking on a Sunday. For now, we will reset and focus on Monza.
On a circuit on which overtaking is extremely difficult, we were unable to make much progress today with either Lance’s one-stop strategy or Sebastian’s two-stopper. Nonetheless, they both drove well in difficult circumstances. 2021 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix is the first for 36 years and was well organised and efficiently run, and, although there was not a lot of on-track action in terms of overtaking, an excited full-house audience was rewarded with victory for the local hero. Next weekend we will be at Monza, a very different kind of challenge, and a welcome opportunity for us to try to improve on today’s performance.
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