“It’s going to be massively quick”: F1 drivers on Zandvoort’s return

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1 drivers say Zandvoort is going to be a “massively quick” circuit for their cars next year, but are concerned overtaking will prove difficult.

Nico Hulkenberg, who won several races at the circuit in his junior career expects F1’s return will be “good fun, a good party.

“They can only fit one motorhome in the paddock there, it will be interesting to see who gets that spot!

“I loved Zandvoort during my junior times in F3, Formula BMW, A1. Good memories from there. Cool track, great location. And obviously Dutchies are already fired up and ready for a good party.”

“Even in F3 it was almost impossible to pass,” Hulkenberg added. “The track layout is not the most inviting for overtaking and racing unfortunately.”

But he expects the high-speed Scheivlak corner will be spectacular. “Definitely it was fun there. Scheivlak is one corner that was always one corner you had to be brave and ballsy. I’m sure it’s going to be massively quick in Formula 1.”

Zandvoort
Scheivlak: “You had to be brave and ballsy”
Valtteri Bottas said the track is an “old-school circuit that drivers love.”

“Making mistakes there in the high-speed section it’s going to be very penalising. We feel a bit more we are risking ourselves in that kind of track which is a nice feeling for a driver. So I look forward to it.

“Even Formula Three races there was a lot of people, a lot of spectators, good atmosphere. Many good memories from there. It’s going to be nice.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 41 comments on ““It’s going to be massively quick”: F1 drivers on Zandvoort’s return”

    1. I predict Mercedes 1-2. Sheivlak will be easy flat in F1.

      1. maybe only in qualifying, i think its going to be like eau rouge in 2014-16, probably flat but dangerous in the race.

      2. I don’t think Scheivlak will be anywhere near flat. Looks a bit dangerous in an F1 car actually.

    2. Its a pity they already are planning to remove the gravel traps for stupid tarmac/asphalt stuff.

      1. Von Smallhausen (@engelbertvonsmallhausen)
        14th May 2019, 21:00

        Says who?

    3. Lap times will be ridiculously low, somewhere in the 1:05 range.

      1. nah, 1:13-1:14 more likely

        1. The current circuit has the same length and number of corners as Interlagos, where the current F1 lap record is 1:10.54.
          Add the coming modifications and I’m sure you’ll see times way below 1:10

          1. Like half of Interlagos is full throttle though, Zandvoort is (a bit) more twisty

            1. It’s likely to lose most of its twists as they are planning to widen it…

    4. Depending on where they place it on the calendar, we could get a lot of rainy races, which in my book is an excellent prospect.

      1. @shimks If it’s going to be placed in May (which seems like the most likely scenario) then there’d be less chance of rain as May is drier than June, July, and August, although it still should be placed in any of those three months instead solely due to the temperatures.

        1. May weather in The Netherlands can be wet, dry, cold, hot and anything in between. Its usually a relative good month, last year the temperatures were in the mid 20 degrees but this year is barely over 10 degrees.

      2. @shimks Probably not for fans at the circuit though as Zandvoort is a miserable place to attend in the wet from my experience at the last A1GP race there.

        Was told by a local fan that weekend that whenever they know it’s going to rain the attendance is always really poor because of how bad the place is in the wet.

        He also told me that due to the drainage of the circuit with all the dunes, camber & elevation change that you always see a lot of red flags & long delays when it rains because you get a lot of rivers and puddles that generate a lot of aquaplaning & accidents and indeed in that A1GP race i was at a car spun while driving in a straight line on what was starting to look like a lake just before the pit exit and had a huge accident at he flew over the top of the gravel trap at the first corner.

        1. I’ve never been, but looking at the map I wonder how much low attendance in the rain for smaller races is affected by the nearby alternatives. Might be different with F1 as the draw.

        2. @roger-ayles That’s really interesting. Cheers!

        3. I’ve been to that wet A1GP race years ago… massive overtaking, especially in the Tarzan corner.

          When it rains it’s wet…good for racing, not good good if you don’t like rain…though the rain is not any wetter than anywhere else and Zanvoort is no different from any other circuit. The track has brand new tarmac and should be good for an exciting race

      3. Just looked at weather for May 2018.
        Only 1st of May had a few drops of rain. The rest of May was dry.

    5. My prediction – 1-2 overtakes at start and 0 overtakes in the race.

      I wouldn’t have chosen THIS over Barcelona in a million years.

      Whoever thinks it will provide better racing than Barcelona, then maybe you need to reconsider…

      1. The consideration wasn’t the racing though, it’s about cashing in on the Verstappen factor.

        1. šŸ‘†šŸ¼ BINGO!!!!

    6. Iā€™m at least looking forward to Zandvoort appearing in the Codemasters game. Will be brilliant to drive some of the historic cars round there.

    7. Great comments from Hulkenberg, good summary of the track; Bottas hard at work concentrating on the positives, LOL. (by the way ‘Scheivlak’ – from scheiding ie. ‘partition’ )

    8. This track is too narrow and there are a lot of corner it will be impossible to overtake. It will be a bad race track for F1 cars.

    9. While it’s definitely good to see another European race returning to the calendar, I cannot help but feel like the track will be a disappointment in a modern F1 car. There are just a few proper corners on the track (Scheivlak and maybe the corner after that), the rest are either hairpins, chicanes, or corners that are considered straights (the run from Hugenholtz to Scheivlak, or the last turn).

      1. Von Smallhausen (@engelbertvonsmallhausen)
        15th May 2019, 9:57

        From Hugenholtz to Scheivlak is one of the nicest parts of a track I’ve ever driven. The elevation changes makes it special.

    10. if it was the original layout i would be more excited but i’d rather F1 stay at Barcelona than go to the current Zandvoort layout as Barcelona is both more fun to drive on the games (it’s one of my favorite tracks to drive in games) and stands more chance of producing a good race.

      I have never seen anything with 4 wheels put on a good race around the current Zandvoort configuration.

      1. Your not very old then :) I saw nice races in the 60-70 but also 1983-1984 were great.

    11. Funny thing is had it been Monaco in place to return after long absence, those exact same statements would most definitely be spoken.

    12. I, for one, posted a couple of days ago that I’d love to see Zandvoort back. Man, I had no idea for the current layout. What on Earth happened to these amazing 70’s and 80’s layouts? Imola N.2 if not better than Imola.

      It cannot be Roger Williamson’s death, the track was still used as it was and the track itself had nothing to do with it. As it is now it looks like a Monaco one, with absolutely no chance of overtaking.

      Am I too romantic or every single track has been “Tilketized” in some way?

      1. @ioannisk The track has been shortened a long time ago because of protests from people living in the area and environmentalists. There has been low interest in/support for racing in Holland until Max entered F1

        1. I get this @ricod. No offense but I’m talking in general here. Not for small, but anyway interesting, details…

    13. Hulkenberg was epic in the A1 race on Zandvoort. On a wet track he destroyed everybody. Bottas won the F3 masters twice.

      Makes sense they are positive about the track.

      Getting home from a Marlboro Masters race was a nightmare though. Traffic would only start to move around 20:00. On a nice Sunday, the town is already filled to capacity with sun worshippers. Then add say 125000 race fans and it just ends in tears.

    14. Jan Lammers is fakking about 14 seconde pitstops

      Wow

    15. If only we had axed tilkedromes for such classic circuits.

    16. Alex McFarlane
      14th May 2019, 22:12

      For those interested there were clips of Max running an older Red Bull round Zandvoort on YouTube.

      Looks way too narrow for overtaking and the short, fast lap also won’t help. But who knows how they will develop the circuit now it’s returned to F1.

    17. The onboard lap of Max driving around Zandvoort reminded me of A1 ring more than any other tracks, not sure if that’s good or not.

    18. There’s going to be some fast sections, qualifying should be spectacular.
      Race day will be more Monaco than anything though… seems impossible to pass anywhere that I can see, even with the changes they are describing.

      Here’s a hotly from iRacing with the 2009 FW31:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn7cUZ1wI2M

      Comparing lap times from 2009 to 2019, 2020 cars may be 4-5 seconds faster than this.

      1. Current iRacing lap records in the FW31 are at 1:09.286, so with the proposed changes, like a wider final corner allowing DRS, we might end up in the 1:05s

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