Rain’s forecast for all three days of the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix – but will it affect either qualifying of the race at Zandvoort as Max Verstappen chases a ninth consecutive win?
Verstappen has chance to match Sebastian Vettel‘s 2013 record win streak in Formula 1 in front of his home crowd, but may so have to do so through rain showers on Sunday.
He’ll likely want a dry race with Red Bull looking the absolute class of the field in F1 2023 so far, though Verstappen would also more then fancy his chances in the rain.
And we’re yet to see what upgrades teams bring to Zandvoort and how they fare, could any teams have significantly eaten into Red Bull‘s margin at the front?
Friday: Practice 1 and 2
Rain will hang around Zandvoort all day on Friday, but may not actually affect free practice running too much.
FP1 and FP2 start at 12:30 and 16:00 local time respectively with the likelihood of rain sitting between 40-70 percent from mid-morning until late afternoon.
So there’ll probably be some showers for drivers to deal with, and they could be coming onto a damp track to start the session, but they won’t be dealing for wall-to-wall torrential rain.
It’s forecast to be the warmest day of the weekend, but there’s still only highs of 20 degrees Celsius predicted.
Saturday: Practice 3 and Qualifying
The main change for Saturday is the wind – it could be as fast as 20 miles per hour after just barely breaking double figures on Friday.
Zandvoort‘s right on the Dutch coast so there’s plenty of scope for gusty easterly wins blowing in over the sand dunes, with the main straight running perpendicular to the shoreline.
This means drivers will have to watch out especially on that final corner, and when going over raised parts of the circuit.
Aside from that, the heaviest rain (around 70 percent chance) is forecast for the 15:00 qualifying start time, which is exciting.
Even if it’s not falling when cars head out for Q1, again there’s been rain forecast across the morning and afternoon and with temperatures peaking at 18 or 19 degrees it’ll be much slower to dry out.
Precipitation chances drop to around 40 percent on race day so we should see either a rain-affected grand or qualifying, but not both.
Wind remains strong at around 15-18 mph for the afternoon and the temperature will drop another few degrees for raceday.
Teams should’ve figured out the wet-inters crossover point by this point in the weekend with three practice sessions all likely seeing some rain, but there’ll still be plenty of uncertainty heading into the grand prix.