Here we are, heading from Spa-Francorchamps to Zandvoort in less than a week. The Dutch Grand Prix will take place on Sunday 5 September to continue the battle for the World Championship. Zandvoort F1 racing circuit is already ready to welcome the drivers, so let’s take a look at the timetable and find out what stories will accompany the race week.

Zandvoort and Dutch Grand Prix

Although Formula 1 arrived here in 1952, Zandvoort was opened in 1948, with the last Dutch Grand Prix taking place in 1985. Max Verstappen’s home race in the Netherlands was due to take place in 2020 after a 35-year break, but the Covid 19 pandemic made the postponement the date. This year marks a thunderous comeback for circuit after a 36-year absence.

The legendary Dutch Grand Prix thundered through the past with the collisions and breathtaking victories that go down in history. In 1979 Gilles Villeneuve made a noise for the racing fans by spinning almost an entire lap of Zandvoort on three wheels. In 1985 Niki Lauda won the last Formula 1 victory after a close cube with teammate Prost. They crossed the finish line just 0.232s apart, but the Austrian had done enough to win and drew level with Jim Clark.

Gilles Villeneuve Zandvoort 1979
Gilles Villeneuve Zandvoort 1979, photo by F1 official

Today, there is no unanimous opinion among the current Formula One drivers about what it will be like to drive at Zandvoort. None of them have experience of the Dutch Grand Prix. Pierre Gasly believes that the track has something in common with the Circuit de Monaco. Meanwhile, more and more people are saying that it is very similar to Silverstone.

Mercedes or undoubted advantage of Red Bull?

Increasingly, you can hear that Zandvoort is a place where Red Bull will be faster than Mercedes cars. Thus, “Racingnews365” claims a few reasons for that. Racetrack configuration implies the high-speed nature of Zandvoort. Another case is a huge support for the team and Max Verstappen especially, cause that’s the home Grand Prix for driver. In theory, harder tyre compounds should help Mercedes gain speed, but Red Bull has better mechanical grip and the ability for to extract their speed.

Although, that’s just a theory. It’s hard to make predictions until the drivers get behind the wheel of a current Formula 1 car and do a lap on a track.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, photo by F1 official

Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton? Fresh experiences after race at Silverstone.

The British Grand Prix is still the field of questions and assumptions. It was the first race in which the tension between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen reached a peak of nerves. Drivers collided at Silverstone, Max Verstappen retired from the race while Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix. Despite the similar track configuration, Mercedes will try to avoid a repeat of the situation, as well as in the Red Bull team. Therefore, it is very difficult to predict who will win the Dutch Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton claims the battle at Zandvoort will be even tougher.

George Russell or Valtteri Bottas?

It looks as if Toto Wolff is taking the maximum out of the current situation. George Russell is still filled with the best emotions after finishing second at the Belgian Grand Prix. So Formula 1 fans are still staring at when Mercedes will announce the decision on who will be Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate in 2022, or other details to clarify the case, but all in vain. Valtteri Bottas and George Russell are coming to Zandvoort with no news. Meanwhile, the state of affairs is forcing both drivers to drive the maximum this weekend. So long as Toto Wolff delays the announcement, there is still a chance for each of them to secure a place in the Mercedes team.

Valtteri Bottas or Kimi Raikkonen?

Formula 1 teams continue to fascinate the public, and journalists only warm up interest in the drivers. While one makes puzzle over whether George Russell has signed a contract with Mercedes, others believe that Valtteri Bottas has already signed a contract with Alfa Romeo to replace Kimi Raikkonen. French television channel Canal + reported that the 41-year-old Finn driver make his decision public at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. So it could be the last Dutch Grand Prix for Kimi Raikkonen. Antonio Giovinazzi will also leave the team and his successor will be Formula E World Champion Nyck de Vries. However, if this is true, Kimi Raikkonen will not have to wait for the Italian Grand Prix, because Mercedes management is very keen to settle the affairs of its drivers as quickly as possible.

Update: Kimi Raikkonen has announced his retirement from Formula 1 after 2021 before press conference on Thursday. However, it has long been known that Alfa Romeo team principal Frederick Wasser wanted to sign Mick Schumacher.


Dutch Grand Prix 2021 schedule (track time)

Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort 2021
Zandvoort 2021
THURSDAY 2 SEPTEMBER
Formula 1Press Conference12:30 – 16:00
FRIDAY 3td SEPTEMBER
FIA Formula 3Practice Session10:05 – 10:50
Formula 1First Practice Session11:30 – 12:30
W SeriesPractice Session12:55 – 13:25
FIA Formula 3Qualifying Session13:50 – 14:20
Formula 1Second Practice Session15:00 – 16:00
W SeriesQualifying Session16:30 – 17:00
SATURDAY 4th SEPTEMBER
Formula 1Team Pit Stop Practice09:20 – 09:40
FIA Formula 3First Race (17 Laps or 40 Mins)10:35 – 11:20
Formula 1Third Practice Session12:00 – 13:00
Porsche Mobil 1 SupercupQualifying Session13:45 – 14:15
Formula 1Qualifying Session15:00 – 16:00
Formula 1Press Conference16:00 – 17:00
W SeriesRace (30 Mins +1 Lap)16:30 – 17:10
FIA Formula 3Second Race (17 Laps or 40 Mins)17:55 – 18:40
SUNDAY 5th SEPTEMBER
FIA Formula 3Third Race (22 Laps or 40 Mins)10:45 – 11:30
Porsche Mobil 1 SupercupRace (15 Laps or 30 Mins)12:10 – 12:45
Formula 1Drivers’ Parade13:20 – 13:50
Formula 1‘We Race As One’ Gesture14:43 – 14:44
Formula 1National Anthem14:44 – 14:46
Formula 1Grand Prix (70 Laps or 120 Mins)15:00 – 17:00
* Please note that this timetable is subject to amendments, local time noted

Zandvoort F1 circuit had the modernization and the there is a difference between the 1985 and 2021 Dutch Grand Prix, but it is still a demanding driver’s track. It’s only fuels the already tense situation in the Formula One paddock.