Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Zandvoort, 2021

Leclerc leads Ferrari one-two as power unit problem halts Hamilton

2021 Dutch Grand Prix second practice

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Ferrari headed the times at the end of the second practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix, as more red flags disrupted the afternoon’s running.

The first was caused by Lewis Hamilton as the Mercedes driver suffered a power unit problem and came to a stop at Scheivlak. It was the second problem for a Mercedes-powered driver this weekend, following Sebastian Vettel’s stoppage in first practice.

The second red flag came when Nikita Mazepin spun into the gravel at the Hans Ernst bend. That prevented Max Verstappen from completing his qualifying simulation run, and he ended the session fifth-fastest.

Despite the apparent similarity of Hamilton’s fault to Vettel’s power unit problem during first practice, Mercedes said at the time that there was no indication the two were related. At the end of second practice, they confirmed an oil pressure problem had halted the world champion.

Practice had started five minutes late due to over-running track clearing work. But following the 38-minute disruption to the morning session, race control agreed to add that lost time onto the end of the allotted hour. However the time lost for Hamilton’s stoppage was not recovered, nor was it following a further red flag later in the session.

Running was restarted after a relatively short break, cars heading back out into fairly dense traffic as teams competed to find space to run their programmes.

The second red flag came when Nikita Mazepin spun into the gravel at the Hans Ernst bend. That prevented Max Verstappen from completing his qualifying simulation run, and he ended the session fifth-fastest behind Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas.

“It’s insane,” commented Verstappen at the time, “I just can’t get a lap in.”

Although the session restarted for the second time with a short window for qualifying simulations still, only Ferrari were really able to make the most of it. Charles Leclerc had the better of Carlos Sainz Jnr by just over one and a half tenths on their soft tyre runs.

Fernando Alonso was just behind Verstappen, Alpine’s pace looking encouraging around Zandvoort. Meanwhile AlphaTauri, McLaren, Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin were only able to get one of their cars into the top 10.

Despite only running three laps, early in the session, Hamilton was 11th fastest, ahead of Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull.

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2021 Dutch Grand Prix second practice result

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’10.902 28
2 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari 1’11.056 0.154 27
3 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1’11.074 0.172 33
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’11.132 0.230 33
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1’11.264 0.362 27
6 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1’11.280 0.378 30
7 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1’11.462 0.560 28
8 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1’11.488 0.586 27
9 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’11.678 0.776 29
10 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’11.713 0.811 24
11 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’11.911 1.009 3
12 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda 1’11.946 1.044 26
13 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 1’12.096 1.194 30
14 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’12.136 1.234 29
15 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1’12.157 1.255 24
16 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’12.206 1.304 30
17 47 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1’12.607 1.705 31
18 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1’12.610 1.708 26
19 9 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 1’12.835 1.933 12
20 63 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1’12.855 1.953 29

Second practice visual gaps

Charles Leclerc – 1’10.902

+0.154 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’11.056

+0.172 Esteban Ocon – 1’11.074

+0.230 Valtteri Bottas – 1’11.132

+0.362 Max Verstappen – 1’11.264

+0.378 Fernando Alonso – 1’11.280

+0.560 Pierre Gasly – 1’11.462

+0.586 Lando Norris – 1’11.488

+0.776 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’11.678

+0.811 Sebastian Vettel – 1’11.713

+1.009 Lewis Hamilton – 1’11.911

+1.044 Sergio Perez – 1’11.946

+1.194 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’12.096

+1.234 Lance Stroll – 1’12.136

+1.255 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’12.157

+1.304 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’12.206

+1.705 Mick Schumacher – 1’12.607

+1.708 Nicholas Latifi – 1’12.610

+1.933 Nikita Mazepin – 1’12.835

+1.953 George Russell – 1’12.855

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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13 comments on “Leclerc leads Ferrari one-two as power unit problem halts Hamilton”

  1. Love this track as a visual spectacle on tv. It’s the narrowness, little rune off, high speed corners direction changes and undulating. Tracks like Silverstone are great whilst there for this but tv takes away much of the energy you can see in person. I feel this track really shows all this better than any other I can think of, however like Monaco the racing may not be great however strategy around inevitable safety cards could mix up the order on Sunday.

  2. Red Bull doesn’t look quick here.

  3. This could be a very interesting qualifying session (and hopefully race) if the red flags can be kept to a minimum!

    Ferrari look to be a real threat at the top and Alpine aren’t trailing too much either. Surely Norris will be there when it matters too. Giovinazzi is looking sharp now that it seems to be too late… and is this finally the race that Latifi outqualifies Russell!?

    1. Yes, I know it’s practice but if you remember monaco ferrari came out very strong in practice to then be the best team in qualifying, so possibly this track suits them well like they said.

    2. As for latifi outqualifying russell, I doubt if everything runs regularly.

  4. I read that Horner describes Zandvoort as some sort of ‘Mini Suzuka’. It is striking that the run coming out of the chicane at Suzuka to the first corner is just as long as the run through the banked final corner to the first corner of Zandvoort, just short of 1 kilometer.

    Traffic will be very difficult. Due to the undulating and twisting nature it’s very easy to get in someone else’s way.

    1. That’s hardly surprising, because John Hugenholtz based his design of Suzuka on Zandvoort. He just made it bigger.

      1. @srga91 Could also be that Horner made that comment BECAUSE both circuits were designed (well parts of it) by the same person.

  5. It almost feels like Daniel has become an afterthought. Shame.

    1. @webtel a couple of years ago I felt he was close to being one of the best in the field. Now he is just invisible. Really hope he gets his mojo back.

      1. See him like vettel, when a driver loses confidence and isn’t adaptable he can go from a pretty good driver (vettel 2017) to terrible (2020).

  6. Alonso fans loving it recently there man is 6-6 vs Ocon in qually. Don’t even give me he is a better racer. It is why he would not have a chance vs Lewis in the same car he would need 2016 bad starts to come back to show his pace. It is funny he got praise for Hungary yet got outqualifed by ocon and the win woulda probably been his if he did not get outqualified

  7. If it stays this way we’ll have an interesting quali/race. Fingers crossed!

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