Lewis Hamilton has conceded he is slightly on the back foot compared to his opponents at Formula 1’s Dutch Grand Prix after a disrupted Friday afternoon.
Formula 1 has returned to Zandvoort after a 36-year absence with the circuit heavily reprofiled and renovated for the championship’s visit.
Hamilton topped first practice, which ran green for only 23 minutes following a lengthy red flag due to Sebastian Vettel’s breakdown, but then suffered his own issues only minutes into the second session.
Hamilton had completed one push lap on the Mediums when his W12 suffered a loss of power.
Hamilton parked his car by the side of the circuit as a precaution and played no further part in the session.
“Naturally, it puts us on the back foot but Valtteri [Bottas] looked like he had a good session so hopefully tomorrow we can try and fill in and make up for some of the time hopefully,” he said.
“[The car] wasn’t feeling too bad. Then I made some changes for this season but I got one lap with it.
“It’s very, very hard to pick the good or bad points from that change but as I said we got Valtteri who did a lot of running, lots of data analysis we have from all the long runs, most of the other people got their long runs so it’s going good.”
Hamilton’s early exit left Bottas as the sole Mercedes representative in the second session.
Bottas classified fourth but a slightly restructured programme meant he prioritised longer runs.
“I think in the second session we still needed to try the car with a little bit less fuel, to see how it feels in the single lap, but then the main focus was, obviously the long runs, only with one car for us,” he said.
“[We were] just trying to learn how the tyre drops and overheats. Even though it was a mixed session with the red flags and everything, I’m sure we got plenty of data to go through tonight.”