The second half of the season begins with back-to-back races in the Netherlands and Italy; two old-school tracks with very different characteristics.
Fact File: Dutch Grand Prix
After tackling the longest track of the season in Spa, we head to the second shortest and Zandvoort; it clocks in at just 4.259 km.
It is perhaps no surprise therefore that we see the second highest lap total of the year here at 72 for Sunday’s Grand Prix. That is just six short of the number we complete at the Monaco Grand Prix, the highest total of the season.
The circuit features 14 corners, four to the left and 10 to the right.
Zandvoort doesn’t feature many long straights and a lot of the lap is spent in these 14 corners. It’s therefore a track with low power sensitivity and engine duty, so the Power Unit isn’t put through as much strain as at other circuits.
Just 55% of the total lap time is spent at full throttle, which equates to just over 65% of the lap distance. It is most similar in characteristics to Interlagos in Sao Paulo in that sense.
Without any significant straights, overtaking is a challenge here. Last year, we saw just five non-DRS aided passes in the 2022 race.
It is the third highest circuit for downforce sensitivity, which means a high downforce set-up is required. The only two tracks that are higher than Zandvoort are Budapest and Monaco.
This puts vertical loads through the cars and tyres, not just lateral loads. The drivers also experience these vertical loads, as they get pushed into their seats rather than just from side-to-side.
The Dutch Grand Prix returned to the Formula One calendar in 2021, with F1 racing around - the track for the first time since 1985. The 14-corner layout has been modernised for F1’s return, including a steeper banking angle at the famous Tarzan corner, but remains a challenging, twisty layout.
Zandvoort has a long history of motorsport, having first opened in 1948. It debuted in F1 in 1952 and just three years later, Juan Manuel Fangio scored Mercedes’ one and only victory at the Dutch Grand Prix – leading home Stirling Moss to secure a Silver Arrows 1-2.
The circuit also has significant banked turns as it winds its way through the dunes. Turns 13 and 14 see the cars tackle 18 degrees of banking – around twice as steep as that seen at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Drivers experience up to 4.7 G through the long, sweeping Turn 7, one of the highest lateral g-forces of the entire season.