Whew, that was a tough time, as we’ve been waiting for the Formula 1 race weekend for almost three weeks. It was like whole eternity. But the summer break is off, and Circuit Zandvoort already waiting for its hero; however, heroes, of course, for the incredible atmosphere-filled Dutch Grand Prix 2023, providing an exhilarating spectacle for F1 fans. Why so? Because there are five thrilling storylines to keep an eye on during the 2023 Netherlands Grand Prix. Let’s get started.
#1 Dutch Grand Prix, or why is it about Max Verstappen?
The Dutch Grand Prix debuted in 1949 – a year after the Zandvoort track was built. So, the F1 race in the Netherlands had been racing until 1985 with variable success. But it was Max Verstappen who was forced to return Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort to return its place in Formula 1. With high-class driving and thrilling battles against Mercedes driver seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen’s popularity has proliferated. He won the hearts of millions of fans worldwide, especially in his homeland. With an enormous fan base here, it became clear the Netherlands needed its own race at Zandvoort.
Thus, after 35 years of absence, Dutch Grand Prix returned to Formula 1 in the 2021 season.
#2 Max Verstappen’s Homecoming
Therefore, as soon as Max Verstappen heads to his homeland, the atmosphere peaks at the Zandvoort. The orange grandstands are roaring to greet their national star. It is the additional reason for to two-time Formula 1 champion to win the Dutch Grand Prix 2023, and if Verstappen is a success, it will be a third-time victory at the home race, which is what another record in his pocket.
Moreover, Max Verstappen holds the record as he has eight wins in a row. A new one at Zandvoort will become a ninth – the same as Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull ten years ago. Time flows fast.
Can Verstappen rise to the occasion and secure a memorable victory at Circuit Zandvoort? To see Max Verstappen at the podium, however, at least, is what we expect to see at Dutch Grand Prix 2023. Although, Mercedes cars are still fast at Zandvoort, no matter what others say.
#3 Mercedes will be fast, but would it be enough?
Mercedes will be fast, but would it be enough?
The Zandvoort circuit is a concise racing track. With a circuit length of 4 259 km, in 2021, Lewis Hamilton sat here the lap record in the race for 1:11.097. Relatively short is not the word; most drivers call Zandvoort a fast track.
However, according to the statistics, Mercedes cars suit the Zandvoort well, as both drivers were second fastest after Red Bull F1 team. Mercedes has been updating fast to back their former glory. Meanwhile, the difference between Red Bull drivers is impressive, to make us a few guessings.
Sergio Perez has almost twice as fewer points as teammate Max Verstappen – 189 against 314 in the F1 driver’s standings, respectively. It suggests that Lewis Hamilton has the opportunity to sit second after Verstappen. While it will be a racing battle for third place between another Mercedes driver, Geroge Russell, and Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez. This is another point we expect to see at the Dutch Grand Prix 2023.
However, it won’t be an easy ride.
#4 Zandvoort circuit’s charm
Fast and short, these are not the only features you can describe the Netherlands’ racing circuit. Most of the drivers say Zandvoort is an “old-school” one. Simply put, it will be challenging for drivers who need more racing experience and are losing their temper fast. We expect racing mistakes from mid of the grid, however, from Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Oscar Piastri (McLaren), and Logan Sargeant (Williams).
Another thrilling feature is the layout of the Zandvoort, which is what undulating. The racing track swoops and flows through the sand dunes, creating a rollercoaster for a driver. With their famous corners like Tarzan, Zandvoort will be a good test for drivers’ tempers and skills.
In this way, Haas F1 team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen are experienced well to finish in the top ten or be qualified in the tens. All the above also add thrills to the racing weekend. Therefore, red flags and a few yellow flags during the race are other points we expect to see at the Dutch Grand Prix 2023. However, the battle will be intensive.
#5 Second-line leaders on the Dutch Grand Prix 2023.
Among the experienced at the grid, Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso is the most. With the team’s overall progress, both drivers, Lance Stroll and Alonso, can finish the Dutch GP in the top five. Despite Alonso, we expect to see the top seven other drivers pushing their limits.
Undoubtedly, Red Bull will continue its dominance, but four teams will be battle-between. Scuderia Ferrari, represented by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, McLaren’s drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, Aston Martin’ and Mercedes’ drivers are ready to take the call. As we mentioned above, Alonso, Norris, and Hamilton are those we bet on.
Dutch Grand Prix 2023 schedule
Zandvoort is in the Central European Time zone, UTC/GMT +2 hours.
Dutch Grand Prix promises many exciting moments. First, because we’ve been yearning for Formula 1. While second is about the fantastic atmosphere as driver’s championship leader Max Verstappen goes to the homeland. The third is about the progress of Mercedes and their possibility of sitting second after Red Bull.
Besides and forth, there will be a thrilling battle between four teams and their drivers. Fifth is about challenging old-school features of the circuit Zandvoort; the high-passed track will test our drivers for their temper and skills.
Moreover, although the forecast promises dry racing conditions, rain is still possible, especially for Saturday’s qualifying. So, revving up, let’s get race week to start!