Gasly sees Dutch GP as ‘replay of Monaco’

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly says next weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix could resemble “a replay of Monaco” thanks to Zandvoort’s short straights and narrow track.

Formula 1 will race at Holland’s once classic venue for the first time since 1985.

Although Zandvoort has implemented many changes to accommodate Grand Prix racing’s modern cars, most F1 drivers fear that the 4.259km track’s characteristics will represent a mighty challenge in terms of overtaking.

Gasly, who raced only once at the venue, way back in 2012, has done his homework on AlphaTauri’s simulator and is anticipating an “amazing weekend” despite the likely scarce overtaking opportunities on race day.

“I raced there in 2012 in Formula Renault 2.0, so quite a long time ago!” said the Frenchman. “The track layout has changed a lot since then and I’ve experienced it on the simulator.

“I think the whole weekend should be an amazing experience, being the first Dutch Grand Prix since Max has been in Formula 1.

“It’s going to be an interesting weekend, a replay of Monaco in some respects, as the straights are very short and the track itself is very narrow, so overtaking will be particularly complicated.

“That means Qualifying will be especially important and, as we seem to perform quite well in that respect, it could turn out to be a good thing for us,” added Gasly.

“Another factor is that being by the sea, we can expect to find a dusty track surface on Friday, with sand blowing onto the asphalt, so conditions will evolve over the weekend.”

    Read also – Gasly: Lack of visibility harbinger of ‘big accident’ at Spa

Gasly’s AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda will be an absolute beginner at Zandvoort, but like the Frenchman, the Japanese driver has also indulged in some productive simulator sessions.

However, facing a learning curve this week, Tsunoda stressed the importance of keeping himself out of trouble from the outset in Holland.


“I have never driven at Zandvoort, in any category,” said the 21-year-old. “Since they have modified the track layout, it should be a new experience for all the drivers, not just the rookies like me.

“It looks unusual from the simulator, with a lot of banking, which is quite steep and that will need good skills to maximise in terms of carrying speed into the next part of the track.

“I think I am quite good at adapting reasonably quickly to a track I have never seen before. But I must make sure I don’t lose any track time through mistakes, because it will be important to learn as much as possible in free practice.

“Also, in Zandvoort, the track walk will be even more useful than usual, because the simulator cannot give you a complete picture of what a new circuit is like. The simulator helps but the walk gives you a full picture.”

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