Dutch GP Preview – Toto Wolff: “There is plenty to fight for”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

In Mercedes’ Dutch Grand Prix preview, Toto Wolff says the team “will push hard in the battle for second in the Constructors’ Championship”, and “also be driving development forward for 2024”.

“It’s good to get back to work,” Wolff said.

“The summer break is important for everyone to take some well-deserved time off, but we’re racers and we love the thrill of competition.

“We return recharged and ready for the second half of the season. There is plenty to fight for and we won’t be letting up. We will push hard in the battle for second in the Constructors’ Championship. We will also be driving development forward for 2024. Those are challenges we are excited for, starting this weekend.

“Zandvoort is a fantastic place to resume the season. It’s a challenging track with an old-school feel; banked corners and high-speed sections undulating through the dunes. There’s always an incredible atmosphere with the passionate Dutch fans and it’s always a fantastic celebration of our sport.

“I’m sure this year will be no different and I’m excited to get there,” the Austrian concluded.

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Fact File: Dutch Grand Prix

  • After tackling the longest track of the season in Spa, we head to the second shortest and Zandvoort; it clocks in at just 4.259 km.
  • It is perhaps no surprise therefore that we see the second highest lap total of the year here at 72 for Sunday’s Grand Prix. That is just six short of the number we complete at the Monaco Grand Prix, the highest total of the season.
  • The circuit features 14 corners, four to the left and 10 to the right.
  • Zandvoort doesn’t feature many long straights and a lot of the lap is spent in these 14 corners. It’s therefore a track with low power sensitivity and engine duty, so the Power Unit isn’t put through as much strain as at other circuits.
  • Just 55% of the total lap time is spent at full throttle, which equates to just over 65% of the lap distance. It is most similar in characteristics to Interlagos in Sao Paulo in that sense.
  • Without any significant straights, overtaking is a challenge here. Last year, we saw just five non-DRS aided passes in the 2022 race.
  • That means qualifying performance is vital and makes it one of the most important qualifying sessions of the year.
  • It is the third highest circuit for downforce sensitivity, which means a high downforce set-up is required. The only two tracks that are higher than Zandvoort are Budapest and Monaco.
  • The circuit also has significant banked turns as it winds its way through the dunes. Turns 13 and 14 see the cars tackle 18 degrees of banking – around twice as steep as that seen at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • This puts vertical loads through the cars and tyres, not just lateral loads. The drivers also experience these vertical loads, as they get pushed into their seats rather than just from side-to-side.
  • Drivers experience up to 4.7 G through the long, sweeping Turn 7, one of the highest lateral g-forces of the entire season.
  • The pit lane length measures just 235 metres, one of the shortest of the entire season.
  • Due to this, the pit lane is tight, and the speed limit is therefore lowered from the usual 80 km/h to 60 km/h.
  • Time loss in the pit lane is still short though, with a calculated pit lane time of just over 13 seconds.
  • To improve the traffic situation in the pit lane, the gap between pit boxes has been extended by 1.5 metres for this year’s race.

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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