Formula 1 finally returns from the summer break this weekend with the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort – and rain may be returning too.
Rain has become a a major character in the 2023 F1 season so far. The last time that teams and drivers enjoyed a grand prix weekend without rain having an impact on any F1 session was the Miami Grand Prix all the way back in May.
This weekend sees F1 return to the Netherlands for the third time since the Dutch Grand Prix returned to the calendar in 2021. While there has never been a wet session at the modernised Zandvoort circuit over the two rounds held there so far, that could change this weekend.
Teams may have to get the intermediate tyres out as soon as Friday. There is a moderate 40% risk of showers on Friday afternoon at present, scheduled to clash with the second practice session of the day.
Saturday’s qualifying day is currently on track to be the driest of the three days of the race weekend. It is forecast that Saturday will be cloudy, with the biggest risk of rain being in the morning – although much lower than Friday.
For the grand prix on Sunday, however, the chances of rain picks up again. Systems currently predict another 40% chance of rain on Sunday, although again that risk is at its highest in the morning, when Formula 2 and the Porsche Supercup races will be taking place.
Aside from the risk of rain, it certainly will not feel like summer for the drivers after returning from the summer break. With its beachside setting, high winds are expected across the weeekend – increasing in intensity as the days progress. Gusts of up to 35kph are currently forecast during the race, which could cause headaches for drivers around the narrow, twisty circuit.
It’s also likely to be a much cooler Dutch Grand Prix that previous seasons. While last year saw ambient temperatures average just under 23 degrees, it’s currently expected that temperatures will only breach 20 degrees once over the five F1 sessions – that being during Friday afternoon’s second practice.
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2023 Dutch Grand Prix
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