During a Gamma Racing Days event at the TT Circuit Assen, Renault test driver and WTF1 cookie connoisseur Jack Aitken took the R.S.17 for some rapid laps of the track
Before Zandvoort was confirmed as the home of the returning Dutch GP from next year, it had strong competition from Assen - largely because the circuit and its infrastructure seemed more ‘ready’ to host an event as massive as F1.
Thankfully, Zandvoort got the nod. Not that Assen is a bad track, but it’s best known as a bike track and truth be told, that’s how it should stay. It’s a cool circuit though, with plenty of fast corners, and Aitken was able to use the two-year-old Renault to set a new circuit record.
The old record was held by BOSS GP (a series for old F1 cars and single-seaters) driver Ingo Gerstl, who in qualifying for a 2018 race drove his 2006 Toro Rosso STR1 around in a time of 1:17.157 - not a million miles off of Aitken’s time. Since lap records only count in a race situation, though, Gerstl still holds that honour with a time of 1:18.298.
For comparison, Champ Car visited Assen in 2007, where Sebastian Bourdais set a pole time of 1:18.765, while this year’s MotoGP pole position lap was 1:32.017, set by Fabio Quartararo.