Dutch Grand Prix: Lando Norris heads Max Verstappen in second practice at Zandvoort

Formula 1
Daniel Ricciardo sits on his Alha Tauri after a crash

McLaren’s Lando Norris headed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in second practice at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Norris was 0.023 seconds faster than the championship leader, who had a messy session with traffic on one fast lap and a mistake on another.

Williams driver Alex Albon impressed with the third-fastest time, ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s upgraded Mercedes.

Ferrari appeared to be struggling and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso did not produce a representative lap time.

The quickest Ferrari was Charles Leclerc down in 11th place, 0.585secs off the pace, while his team-mate Carlos Sainz was 16th.

The Spaniard sat out the first session as Ferrari test driver Robert Shwartzman was given a turn in the car and then had two incidents in the second – misjudging the entry to Turn 11 and skating through the gravel on a fast lap and then running wide at the penultimate corner during his race run.

Alonso, who had been second fastest in the Aston Martin in the morning session, was only 10th fastest in the afternoon over one lap.

Norris’ pace in the McLaren underlined the progress the team have made with an upgrade in Austria at the start of last month, since on average they have been the second fastest team in qualifying on average.

However, even if McLaren can challenge Verstappen in qualifying, it would be unwise to expect a threat to the local hero in the race. Verstappen was comfortably faster on the long runs – by 0.2secs over Norris and by 0.5secs over Leclerc comparing their runs on the soft tyre.

Norris’ team-mate Oscar Piastri was 19th fastest after a spin at the heavily-banked Hugenholtz hairqpin early in the session in which he damaged his car.

Alpha Tauri’s Daniel Ricciardo also became tangled up in Piastri’s crash as he failed to notice the McLaren until too late in the corner and crashed in avoidance.

The Australian complained about hurting his wrist in the accident – he failed to get his hand off the wheel before the car hit the barriers – and afterwards went to see a doctor about the injury, then was taken to hospital for further checks.

Ricciardo’s team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was fifth fastest, ahead of Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and the Alfa Romeo of Esteban Ocon.

Albon’s race pace could only be measured against Hamilton as both ran the medium tyre, and the Williams was 0.2secs off the Mercedes.

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