F1 was left frustrated on its return to Zandvoort after a 36-year wait as red flags were shown on three occasions across the two practice sessions.
The old-school circuit has undergone a significant revamp since F1 last featured on the calendar in 1985, ensuring teams and drivers needed to get in as much running as possible to understand the nuances of a track featuring two banked corners.
But after 37 minutes were lost in FP1 following a power unit failure on Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin, which sparked safety concerns before it was finally retrieved, a further two red flags were shown in FP2.
The first of those, after just five minutes, sparked roars of delight in the grandstands rammed with orange-clad Max Verstappen fans as Lewis Hamilton pulled over after reporting a loss of power.
It was Mercedes' second issue of the day given it also supplies power units to Aston Martin. It was later reported to be an abnormal oil system problem.
After another eight-minute delay, the cars had only been on track for a further 16 minutes when the red flags were out again.
On this occasion, Nikita Mazepin lost the rear of his Haas on entry into the fast right-left kink of turns 11 and 12, going on to beach his car in the gravel and leading to a further five-minute loss.
It meant across the two hours of practice in total, 50 minutes were lost to red flags, leaving the teams still searching for information going into the final practice hour on Saturday ahead of qualifying.
When the red flag was shown for Mazepin, Verstappen was on a fast lap, with his response one of frustration as he said; "It's insane. I just can't get a lap man."
Mercifully, the final 25 minutes were trouble-free, with Ferrari on top and Charles Leclerc spearheading a one-two, with Carlos Sainz 0.154secs adrift of his team-mate's leading time of one minute 10.902s.
Verstappen had to settle for fifth quickest on the timesheet, 0.362s adrift and with Alpine's Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas in his Mercedes ahead of him.
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