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Mick Schumacher has asked the home support to try and keep their smoke flares to a minimum for the Dutch Grand Prix, which has finally returned to the F1 calendar this weekend. Max Verstappen’s infamous ‘Orange Army’ will undoubtedly be loud and proud this weekend for the Red Bull driver’s home race.
This weekend’s race at Zandvoort represents the first time the Dutch Grand Prix is being held on the F1 calendar since all the way back in 1985.
The presence of Verstappen’s fans was felt at Spa last weekend when the 23-year-old was declared the winner of the aborted Belgian Grand Prix, which had to be abandoned after just over two laps behind a safety car due to hazardous conditions.
Verstappen’s army of fans tend to use orange flares in abundance, and Haas’ Schumacher was left frustrated by them last weekend. And he hopes they don’t go too extreme this weekend.
“Everybody’s looking forward [to the Dutch Grand Prix],” the 22-year-old said. “Big support.
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“[But] I was going to say, I hope there’s not as many flares because like in Spa, it just all came onto the track.
“It also smells very badly, and it sits in the cockpit all the time, so yeah.
“Guys, keep it to a minimum please!”
French driver Esteban Ocon, who dramatically won the Hungarian Grand Prix before the summer break, was paired with Schumacher for this weekend’s driver press conferences.
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The Alpine driver echoed the German’s concerns and even suggested several drivers couldn’t see when going around one corner at Spa – which is already renowned as a treacherous circuit without the added inconvenience of poor visibility.
However, Aston Martin’s four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel insisted he wasn’t affected by the fans’ vibrant antics.
The 34-year-old even admitted he hoped to ‘taste a lot of orange’ this weekend, seemingly encouraging the fans ahead of their first piece of F1 action in 36 years.
McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo is certainly expecting the atmosphere around the circuit to be electric this weekend.
“The Dutchies, they’re always up for a good time,” said the Australian.
“Seb said ‘tasting orange’, and I completely understood what he meant.
“I feel like the track is going to be covered in smoke a lot of the time time with all the flare guns.”
The Dutch Grand Prix is the second of a triple-header in the F1 calendar, with the Italian Grand Prix at Monza next weekend.
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