From summer break to winter showers, Formula 1 will return from the holiday to a wet Dutch Grand Prix with rain forecast for all three days at Zandvoort.
Formula 1 has been on a bit of a wet run of late with drops falling at some point in all of the last seven grands prix weekends, none more so than Spa.
That led to a delayed start in Saturday’s sprint race with the drivers putting in five formation laps behind the Safety Car before the action got underway with Max Verstappen winning the shortened race ahead of Oscar Piastri before securing the grand prix win in the dry on Sunday.
Formula 1 forecast to have its first wet Dutch GP since Zandvoort’s return
The Dutchman will be looking for another wet P1 at Zandvoort as he chases his ninth grand prix win on the trot, which would equal Sebastian Vettel’s record for the most successive F1 victories.
But first, he has to deal with the rain.
According to weather.com, there’s a 59 per cent chance of rain on Friday afternoon, which would correspond with FP2, while on Saturday occasional light rain is expected to fall throughout the day with more showers on Sunday where there’s a 50 per cent chance of rain at the start of the grand prix
It’s also likely to be a much cooler Dutch Grand Prix than previous seasons with a maximum of 20°C on Friday, 19°C on Saturday and just 18°C on Sunday.
Should the weatherman be right in his forecast, it will be the first time the Formula 1 drivers have driven the modernised Zandvoort circuit with its banked corner in the wet.
The good news is that at no point does it appear as if the rain will be heavy enough to delay a session as it did at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
While it has been suggested Formula 1 could change start times for the sessions depending on the weather, especially after fans were unhappy with how Spa’s sprint race and its five formation laps played out, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has ruled that out.
“I think we’ve got to have some predictability and when the race starts, people switch on the TV and it’s where you expect the show to start,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.
“Sometimes there are delays and lap one stops, so for me that’s okay.
“I wouldn’t massively change that.”
He added: “I think you can absolutely understand that everyone needs to play it safe.
“We had two terrible accidents, the last one under similar conditions in the rain, where drivers couldn’t see because of the spray. So it was clear that the approach needed to be on the super safe side.”
He, however, agrees with the drivers that Pirelli need better wet weather tyres after the drivers pitted to swap their full wets for intermediates at the first opportunity at Spa.
“That is something that the teams, together with Pirelli, need to assess why the wet tyre isn’t up to the performance that we expect and the Intermediate generally performs better,” Wolff added.
“But I’m sure that Pirelli is going to dig in and try to optimise the tyre.”