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.”
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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.