Home favourite Max Verstappen topped the timesheets, with a time of 1:48.085 as team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was 3 tenths adrift in 2nd. The biggest question facing them now is how much pace the Mercedes team will find on the Super Softs. Despite that challenge a double podium finish will be the target for Red Bull Racing as Lewis Hamilton will take a “30 place” grid penalty this weekend having carried out engine changes in both practice sessions.
Halo made another appearance on the cars, including the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. The Leading edge might be slimmer but there is still no escaping the unsightly basketball hoop that sits atop the cockpit. If it is the future of the top tier of single seater racing to go with a semi-closed setup we can but hope that the Aeroscreen is given another run out.
First Practice Session: 1:49.865, Position: 7, Laps: 24
Second Practice Session: 1:48.085, Position: 1, Laps: 27
“It has been a very positive Friday for us. We showed great pace today in comparison with other teams, though it’s hard to say what Mercedes is like. Of course I’m happy to be first in front of so many Dutch fans but it’s still not qualifying and not the race so let’s see. When I went up to first position in the second practice the fans were all cheering me on with their flags. It definitely gives me a boost and motivates me a lot. This track is very difficult for setting up the car balance so I also had some struggles but at the end it paid off with the last set up change we did. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I’m sure we can improve even more, but we have to wait and see what the others are doing. So far we had a very good start to the weekend.”
First Practice Session: 1:49.782, Position: 6, Laps: 24
Second Practice Session: 1:48.341, Position: 2, Laps: 27
“It was a pretty good day today, not bad. I think on the time sheets we look good, both Red Bulls are first and second, but I don’t think Mercedes used the super soft (tyres) and Force India is quite close. I think we can still be quicker than what we showed today, but I feel like we definitely got into the right rhythm. No one is on holiday anymore and we’re back in work mode, the energy around the garage was good and everyone is ready to go. I think we can improve the set up tonight, as there are some things I’m not 100% happy with, but it’s nice to be back behind the wheel.”