Start, Zandvoort, 1985

Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort confirmed on F1 calendar for 2020

2020 F1 season

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The Dutch Grand Prix will return to Formula 1 next year at the Zandvoort circuit, 35 years since the race was last held at the seaside circuit.

The track previously held the Netherlands’ round of the Formula 1 championship between 1952 and 1985. The new contract will Heineken has been confirmed as the race’s title sponsor.

“We’re thrilled to be here today,” said F1 CEO Chase Carey at a press conference announcing the race. “There’s been a lot of anticipation about this potential event so it’s great to be able to address it straight on.”

Carey said the race’s return was special for three reasons. “We have an incredible history at Zandvoort,” he said. “We raced here last 35 years ago. We’ve had some of our great races here, some of our greatest heroes have raced here and really this track is a tremendously important part of Formula 1.

“The second reason is really the excitement and the passion that exists here in Holland. Holland geographically is a small country but there’s no question that the heart, the passion is second to none and I think the energy in Holland is captivating. Obviously Max Verstappen has helped get another dimension to that. But there’s just a love for this sport that attracts us here. When I go to some of the tracks and see the sea of orange that exists, it’s incredibly special.

“And I think the third reason is it’s great to bring a new race to Europe. It’s not a new race obviously because we raced here 35 years ago but for a generation of fans this is going o be a new race. We are a global sport, we have half a billion fans around the world and growing, and it’s no question the global base of this sport is incredibly important to us. We’re excited to add new races like the one in Vietnam that we’ll also add next year. But Europe’s our home. Europe’s our foundation. Europe’s the base on which we built this sport. And so to bring the sport back to a great track in Europe is incredibly important to us.”

The race is the second new addition confirmed for the 2020 F1 calendar. It joins the new Vietnam Grand Prix, which will be held on a street circuit in Hanoi in April.

The circuit’s layout has been revised since its last F1 race and the track will undergo further changes before the championship returns next year, Dutch Grand Prix sporting director and ex-F1 driver Jan Lammers confirmed.

“To meet the wishes of Formula 1 and the required standards of the FIA the circuit and infrastructure will be modernized within a few areas, with the work completed well ahead of the race in 2020,” said Lammers. “In addition, the municipality of Zandvoort has recently invested heavily to improve access to the municipality and the circuit.”

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Pictures: Zandvoort

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort confirmed on F1 calendar for 2020”

  1. Because, you know, we need tracks that make overtaking easier -.-

    1. @liko41 Yes, that doesn’t look good. Although they will adjust the last corner, to make it effectively a straight. That could change quite a bit.

      1. Adjust it how to make it a straight? All I can imagine the f1 will put a chicane between the last two corners just like they did in barcelona and ruin it.

        1. @socksolid On the contrary, the last corner will be banked. Or so I read.

          1. The issue for f1 with the last corner is the lack of runoff. Look how close the wall is to the track on the exit of last corner. The last corner is a flatout corner in f1 in its current form easily and banking the corner won’t really fix the issue. Where did you read about the banking?

          2. correct, Jan Lammers told it during the presentation
            The last corner will be banked.
            I interpreted it as creating a longer straight…

    2. The problem with overtaking isn’t the tracks. It’s the cars.

      1. It isn’t even the cars. If you ignore the top 3 teams the racing was actually pretty good in barcelona.

      2. We all know the main issue lies in the aerodynamics.
        But you would agree with me that racing in places like Monaco, Singapore or Budapest usually doesn’t provide the same opportunities as racing at Monza.

      3. The tyres don’t help things either.

    3. Yes raced this track several times on Assetto Corsa, overtaking is horrible. Takes a bit of luck and plunging in with risk to do it.

  2. I haven’t seen any sort of action on this track in any category. Whilst it does look like the track has a good number of medium to high speed corners, does it have the potential for good racing ? Is overtaking difficult ?

    1. @webtel In formula 3 and DTM overtaking were found difficult, so I expect it to be the same or worse. But they are adjusting some corners to improve overtaking and with Pirelli tyres you never know… Before Pirelli the Hungaroring was also notorious for the lack of action and look at this GP nowadays.

  3. Terrific news. It’s exactly the sort of venue F1 should be going to. I just hope they don’t ruin the circuit.

    1. @keithcollantine I’m torn: in terms of location, yes, Netherlands deserves a race, it’s an historical venue, it’s in Europe – close to where F1 belongs. In terms of track action I fear a boring race: turn 1, maybe 10, for overtakes?

      1. I mean, for me, it’s the same amount of ‘boring’ races as there will be this season – as it’s replacing Catalunya. But this way, F1 themselves make more money due to the Alonso-Verstappen shift. Maybe another track would’ve been nicer, but then we’d just be complaining about the tarmac run offs etc.

    2. @keithcollantine Lammers said during the press conference that there will be a couple of change: the start-finish line will be moved more towards the Tarzan corner. The exit of the Gerlach corner wil be wider. The Hugenholz corner will be made wider on the inside. The Hans Ernst (Audi S) corner will be less “stop-start”. The Arie Luyendijk corner will be cambered.

      All in all not too bad imo, at least they’re not going to add/remove any corners.

      1. They should require teams and pundits to use those corner names rather than numbers.
        @andae23

      2. There doesn’t seem to be enough room for all the motor’palaces’.
        Maybe the teams can erect some tents on the beach.

  4. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    14th May 2019, 10:11

    I may be wrong but it looks slow and very narrow – overtaking here looks like it would be very difficult. Probably at only the first corner, tbh.

  5. Another boring processional race added to calendar.

    1. But at least on a circuit that drivers actually enjoy!

  6. georgeboole (@)
    14th May 2019, 10:29

    I ‘ve seen Verstappen’s onboard and doesn’t look like having any chances to overtake, at least with the current cars. We ‘ll have to wait and see what the new regulations will bring though.
    Good thing is it will be sold out

  7. Great to see a new venue in europe.

    But will it replace some track we already had and if it will. Which one?

    Barcelona, something else maybe?

    1. Chase Carey more or less confirmed it will take Spains place without saying so. He said it will be this timeof year pre Monaco

  8. Holland deserves a GP, as LM is a profit company, they see good income in organizing a Dutch GP.
    Before anyhting else…the current circuit will get a necessary overhaul to make it suit F1 cars and make it possible to overtake…especially the long straight going into the Tarzan curve will play a big role in overtaking possibilities.

    Every driver labels the Zandvoort track as quite challenging, wich is a good thing, a technical ‘curvy’ track with (where even possible) short run-off area’s..when you get it wrong, it will hurt.

  9. Great news!! Great circuit although not as great as it used to be. Hopefully they’ll keep as much of the gravel as possible. The last corner before the straight will be altered so F1 car can go flat out to the main straight.

    I’d love to see F1 cars going through Scheivlak.

  10. ColonelBlimp
    14th May 2019, 11:04

    Driven it a lot in Assetto Corsa.
    If they keep the sand run off, mistakes will be costly.
    Let’s hope they do.

  11. José Lopes da Silva
    14th May 2019, 11:51

    There is no overtaking because of aerodynamics. Same over the last 25 years. The circuit is fine. Good to get it back.

    1. José Lopes da Silva, as others have noted, multiple series where aerodynamics are far less significant than F1, such as Formula 3, DTM and the World Touring Car Cup, have all described Zandvoort as a circuit where overtaking is difficult. The optimum racing line is very narrow and the corner layout tends to string cars out – to blame the aerodynamics when series where the aerodynamic effect is fairly small have similar issues means that you have to start looking at the track itself, not the cars.

  12. A perfect circuit for mechanical/ground effect cars, a ruinous circuit for aero cars. I love it, and I’ll definitely go, but I can’t see this adding much – then again, neither does Catalunya, so at least it’s an improvement on that.

  13. *facepalm*

    Well, at least NOW everyone realizes that races there can NOT be more exciting than in Barcelona, because obviously the track is even older ans ia even less suited for modern cars to provide overtaking opportunities.

    In addition to freezing +12 degrees these days in May.

    Good choice, Liberty!
    not

    1. @dallein Which is why it should be placed in July or June (or August) instead, May is just a bit too risky with the temperatures when looking at how cold it has been there thus far. https://www.accuweather.com/en/nl/zandvoort/249549/may-weather/249549

      Should the Spanish GP drop then another venue in the Mediterranean climate zone should fill the gap in May vacated by it instead. Circuit Paul Ricard would be the easiest choice for that purpose since it’s already closer to this time of year than Monza, and not too much connected to a specific time of a month as Monaco is.

      1. @jerejj It shouldn’t be placed in the Summer because then there are traffic jams to the beach already. Zandvoort is one of the most popular beach places in the country, perhaps even the most popular.

        I didn’t realise that the GP could be the coldest on the calendar but that should not be the determining factor.

        1. @matthijs Regarding your last paragraph: Well, that kind of indeed should be the determining factor. Placing Zandvoort on the first half of May (as unfortunately seems likely) would contradict F1’s priority of approach when it comes to forming a race calendar. F1’s tendency has more or less always been to search for the best possible weather conditions with the GP date slots, so by purposely placing a European venue not located within the Mediterranean climate zone into a slot earlier in the year than mid-May would be questionable on that front especially given how many times people especially the ones within the paddock have complained about Circuit de Catalunya being too cold in February, etc. If and when the return of the Dutch GP is going to take place in a little under twelve months from now then it’d be pointless to complain about it being too cold when it’s something that was asked for, LOL. Traffic jams shouldn’t really be a determining factor, or then Circuit Paul Ricard, for example, should also be moved to a cooler time of year to avoid the amount of traffic there is/can be in southern France in the summer days.

      2. @jerejj, the predicted date for the 2020 race is May 10th, so it sounds as if they are planning to slot the race in as a direct replacement for the Spanish GP in early May.

        1. @anon Well, that isn’t early-May anymore, though. If it were to be placed on the 3rd day, then it’d be in Early-May, but the 10th day of any month is closer to the middle of that month than the beginning. Nevertheless, the French GP, as I’ve pointed out before, would be a better replacement to fill that slot should the Spanish GP drop, but unfortunately doesn’t look too likely to happen.

  14. Derek Edwards
    14th May 2019, 13:03

    Iconic circuit for me, even if the overtaking issue is likely to be a major impediment to good racing.

    Excuse the indulgence, but so many memories for me from that photo – the eventual winner that day certainly had to do some overtaking, Marc Surer there in a Brabham, Renault supposedly running on half tanks because they were worried about a suspension failure, so artificially fast but destined to retire, Alboreto mired in the pack as his championship challenge began to come to grief, the first ever all-turbo race, and away in the background Stefan Bellof in his final GP start. What could have been…

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