Gasly suspects a ‘replay’ of Monaco at Dutch GP

Henry Valantine
Pierre Gasly walks through the paddock at Spa.

Pierre Gasly walks through the gates into the paddock at Spa-Francorchamps.

Pierre Gasly has predicted the Dutch Grand Prix will play out in a similar way to races in Monaco, due to Zandvoort’s narrow layout and short straights.

Formula 1 heads back to the Netherlands for the first time in 36 years at the weekend, with a raucous home crowd expected to be largely clad in orange for Max Verstappen’s first home race in motorsport’s premier category.

Zandvoort will be a relative unknown for the drivers, and a completely different challenge to the characteristics of the previous race last weekend.

Reflecting on his time at Spa first of all, AlphaTauri driver Gasly did not feel luck was on his side in particular, as he believed he had a chance of competing further up from his P6 starting slot in Belgium.

“It doesn’t matter that Formula 1 is the most high-tech sport in the world, nobody can control the weather,” said Gasly.

“It was a real shame we couldn’t race, especially for all the fans who turned out and waited patiently. And for us it was also disappointing because we had a strong weekend up to that point, with another sixth place on the grid.

“I was convinced I had a chance of doing something really good in the race. At least we don’t have long to wait to race again, so I will take the positives from our Spa performance and transfer them now to Zandvoort.”

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For several drivers on the grid, it will be their first experience of racing around the Dutch circuit, but the track has been heavily modified and refurbished to make it ready for Formula 1’s visit.

Gasly has driven around Zandvoort before, and from that knowhow he gained he is expecting a “complicated” time trying to pass those in front.

“I raced there in 2012 in Formula Renault 2.0, so quite a long time ago!” He said. “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 will 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.

“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.”