After rain caused farcical scenes in Belgium last week, the forecast is thankfully dry as Formula 1 heads to Zandvoort for the first Dutch Grand Prix since 1985.
Orange Army Shouldn’t Need Their Umbrellas
Max Verstappen’s travelling army of supporters don’t have far to go to witness what they hope will be the first victory for a homegrown driver in the Dutch Grand Prix, but championship leader Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to send them home disappointed.
Verstappen’s “victory” in Belgium cut Hamilton’s advantage in the title race to three points and it’s
11/10 the pair for the race win on Sunday.
Circuit Could Suit Mercedes
Neither of the last two races can be considered much of a form guide. Valtteri Bottas triggered a chaotic start in Hungary that took out a quarter of the field while last week’s Belgian Grand Prix was reduced to a token handful of laps behind the safety car.
However, Hamilton’s charges through the field to take victory at Silverstone and second place in Budapest prove that if the Briton isn’t going to win an unprecedented eighth world championship this year, he will go down fighting.
Verstappen’s chances ended on the opening lap of both of those races and he will surely be back in the mix at Zandvoort. However, Hamilton took only his third pole position of the season in Hungary, and he could find the Dutch track suits his Mercedes similarly.
Zandvoort has changed considerably since F1 cars last raced there. Much of the dash between the dunes of the 1960s, 70s and 80s is now a holiday park, leaving a much more compact and twisty track.
Whereas in recent seasons Verstappen’s Red Bull has been at its strongest on such circuits, this year the Mercedes seems most competitive on the less power-hungry tracks.
Norris Could Make Up For Missed Opportunities
Lando Norris has been one of the stars of the season, and while his points-scoring streak has come to an abrupt halt at the last two races, that doesn’t tell the whole story.
McLaren driver Norris sits third in the drivers’ standings after an impressively consistent season. With three podiums already to his name, Norris looked set to again fight for a top-three place at Budapest before Bottas ran into his back at the start.
The young Briton then looked likely to be involved in the fight for pole position in Belgium having topped the first two segments of qualifying. However, Norris lost control as the rain intensified at the start of the top-10 shootout, suffering a heavy crash.
There’s no reason to think Norris won’t be competitive at Zandvoort, and the
7/2 on offer for a podium finish could be worth a punt.
Gasly Set For More Points
Pierre Gasly is another young driver showing his worth, having started in the top six at seven of the last eight races. The Frenchman hasn’t always enjoyed the best luck, but at
2/1 he’s worth a bet for a top-six finish for AlphaTauri.
*All odds correct at time of writing