The news arrived just before the start of second practice at Zandvoort: Oscar Piastri, the young Australian who has yet to start an F1 race, is now free to turn his back on the team that has nurtured him and to drive for McLaren in 2023 and beyond. While a stunned Alpine team attempted to keep an even keel, the F1 world - as it has so many times before - quietly went about its business on this short, line-locked track hard by the North Sea.

It's going to be close on Sunday; that is for sure. And, on this sort of circuit at least, Mercedes are back in business. While Ferrari headed the Friday times, though, and the hero of the Netherlands, Max Verstappen, made the best of a disrupted day for Red Bull, the uneasy undertow remained: as Peter Windsor suggests in this video, something not-quite-right swept through the paddock, adding shadow to the golden August light.

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