Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Max Verstappen was the first driver to share his thoughts about F1 returning to Holland next year, at the legendary Zandvoort circuit. It will join Hanoi, in Vietnam as new tracks, as two others will be cut from the race. Here’s everything you need to know about Zandvoort, which is set to be a fast, furious venue for F1 battles.
1. It Will Be Historic
The Dutch Grand Prix is returning to the Formula One calendar for the first time since 1985, and it’s doing it at a classic track, beyond the sand dunes at Zandvoort. The 2020 race at Zandvoort will give Max Verstappen the chance to competitively race in an Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 car in front of his home fans for the first time. The Dutch Grand Prix was first held in 1952, and carried on for 13 years in a row between 1973 and 1985 before being dropped in 1986.
2. Verstappen Already Holds The Unofficial Lap Record
F1 cars have been here before, mostly for Verstappen and his teammates to do epic synchronised donuts down the finishing straight. But he also took the time in 2017 to set set the unofficial lap record driving a RB8 of 1:19.511, beating the former best time by almost three seconds.
‘Some places are very narrow and there’s no run off so if you go off you are straight into the wall’
3. It’s Fast – And Committing
The track’s design includes narrow sections with no run off. ‘Thee track was actually pretty challenging because you have a few banked corners, some places are very narrow and there’s no run off, so if you go off you are straight into the wall. It’s very cool, and with no run off, it’s quite hard to find the limit. On some other tracks it’s a bit easier but that also makes it more exciting,’ says Verstappen.
4. It Will Feel Like A Rollercoaster To Race
If watching the race is anything like Verstappen’s description of being inside the cockpit, then it’s going to be very entertaining: ‘The elevation changes in the middle of the track where there is lot of compression, it’s quite bumpy and then you go up, and lose the downforce, but then you get sucked in again – it’s very cool. And there are a few blind corners as well,’ he says.
5. Turn Six Will Be Ridiculously Quick
Verstappen’s teammate, Pierre Gasly, thinks that Scheivlak, the fast right hander will fly past: ‘I’ve been to Zandvoort before in Formula Renault and it’s a really cool and challenging track with the banking. Just the fact that it’s super narrow makes it quite exciting, so I like it. I haven’t been there often but I’m excited to go back, and Turn 6, the really fast right hander, must be pretty amazing in an F1 car with the downforce.’ The corner was cut off the circuit when it was shortened in 1989 and was almost swallowed up by the sand dunes before being reclaimed in 1999, for the reopening of Zandvoort.
‘It was designed by the same person as Suzuka so it’s a pretty quick track’
6. It Was Designed By The Same Person Who Did Suzuka
The 2.67 mile track has an existing F1 pedigree. ‘It’s just an iconic, historic track,’ says Verstappen. ‘I have raced there before with F3 and it was a lot of fun. I compare the track a little bit with Suzuka because it’s designed by the same person, so I can understand that the characteristics are a bit similar. It’s a pretty quick track and it’s always good and exciting to have new ones on the calendar. I’ve done a few laps and donuts in an F1 car there too!’
7. There’s A Corner Named After Tarzan
Turn one, or the Tarzanbocht, is the most famous on a circuit known for its fast, sweeping corners. It’s likely to be the site of passing moves due to the camber on the corner, which drivers can use to pass around the outside lane as well as the inside.
WHAT NEXT? Watch Max Verstappen drive his F1 car around Zandvoort.
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