Zandvoort, 2018

Zandvoort changes won’t make overtaking easier – Russell

2020 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

George Russell doubts the planned changes to Zandvoort will make it easier for Formula 1 cars to overtake when they return to the track next year.

The Dutch Grand Prix will feature on the 2020 F1 calendar but several drivers have expressed reservations about how hard it will be to overtake at the Zandvoort circuit. Some changes are being planned to aid passing but when asked if he expected it will help Russell said: “No.”

“I love Zandvoort,” said the Williams driver, who last raced on the circuit in F3 in 2016. “It’s probably, for pure tracks just to drive, it’s probably in my top five favourite in the world.

“But racing, it’s going to be just as bad as Monaco. But everybody knows what to expect when they come to Monaco, they know what to expect when we go to Australia, overtaking’s going to be limited. And now Zandvoort will be added to the list. We just need to accept the fact.

“We’re going there for, well, for Max [Verstappen] pretty much and the Dutch fans. But Formula 1 wouldn’t be what it is without the fans so we need to appreciate that. It’s an amazing circuit. I truly hope they don’t get rid of the gravel because that’s what makes the circuit so daunting to drive around. But it’s going to going to be nigh-on impossible to race.”

Russell said one way to aid overtaking at the track would be to modify the Tarzan corner (pictured top), one of Zandvoort’s signature curves.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Zandvoort, 2018
How Zandvoort will change to host its first F1 race for 35 years
“The first corner’s a really great corner at Zandvoort. But if you want to try and improve overtaking maybe make the first corner tighter.

“I suspect it’ll be a fourth-gear corner for us. Third at minimum. So maybe try and make that corner tighter, potentially. It’s very wide that first corner, they could maybe make it like Austin turn one, very wide, try and make it very tight, who knows. That’s the only way they can probably do something.”

Verstappen expects the track to change little ahead of F1’s return.

“I think in general the layout will be pretty similar but some corners might be a bit banked, a bit shorter, a bit more space. The track itself won’t be changed a lot.

“It’s good to see that the track is coming back on the calendar after so many years. It’s very close to the beach, so you can also chill at the beach after the races if you would like – but as a driver it’s a really cool track to drive. I just hope we can also have a really good fight instead of just following each other throughout the race – but we’ll find out.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

28 comments on “Zandvoort changes won’t make overtaking easier – Russell”

  1. Having just visited the circuit, this will be a great race to attend. General admission offers many great places to sit and stand on the dunes, as the circuit is in a natural bowl. From the top of dunes on the last corner, you can pretty much see most of the circuit.

    Very accessible circuit too. Can get there easily by train and circuit less than 30 mins from station. Pleasure not to need the car. Beach nearby also a bonus!

    1. DAllein (@)
      5th June 2019, 11:11

      You just almost described Barcelona track, with the sole exception of full-track visibility.

    2. Is that you Prince Bernard? Or are you trolling. Everything is an exaggeration Apart from the visibility comment.

      1. His remarks stand ground.
        Visibility is great.
        Acces, proven by recent demodays is good.
        Investments in even more trains is planned
        It’s a old style circuit, especially for drivers

        1. @erikje, thanks for support and good to hear about the trains. Currently 2 an hour will not be sufficient with grand prix crowds.

      2. That’s harsh. I just told it the way I saw it last week.

        But you may be amused to find out that the restaurant on site is called “Bernie’s”!

  2. The only reason f1 is going back there is because of max verstappen. A Dutch an towards the front of the field will bring in lots of people to the circuit, but the rest of us will have to watch a dull procession. I really hope the 2021 rules will bring the field closer and allow for genuine overtaking.

  3. ““We’re going there for, well, for Max [Verstappen] pretty much and the Dutch fans.”

    Thats going to get him on Liberty’s naughty step.

  4. An easy and forgiving track is what does produce dull races. Because the fastest cars will start on the front row there will be little overtaking because the cars ahead are just faster.

    Zandvoort is not like that.
    Qualifying will be all important: take too much risk and you’re out, be too careful and you won’t win.
    The Tarzan corner is a great opportunity to overtake cars that have less downforce so who knows there may be some overtaking after all, and then those overtakes will be spectacular.

  5. DAllein (@)
    5th June 2019, 11:14

    LOL, finally they started to realize the only reason for this track is Verstappen, and that the racing will be no better than in Barcelona.
    Coupled with a freezing weather.

    I really hope it snows next year there and the race is cancelled. That will be an awesome vindication.

    1. It’s not Zandvoorts fault Barcelona is unable to sign a deal, so stop comparing.

    2. The poor weather will be an added bonus. So windy, setup will be tough and variable.

      1. It can be poor weather like rain or sand windy but also very dry and decent.

    3. Shouldn’t you be rather worried for Silverstone to keep their race? Hami fanboy.

    4. In fairness, the racing may end up as boring as Barcelona, but unlike Barcelona at least it’s an exciting lap.

      Certainly wouldn’t sorry to see the back of Barcelona though!

  6. F1 fans: “We want more races at historic circuits, not at dull modern venues in exotic locations.”

    FOM/Liberty: “Ok, we’ve listened to the fans and we’re going back to Zandvoort in 2020.”

    F1 fans: “Urgh, Zandvoort will be terrible for racing why are we going there it will be a borefest etc etc etc…”

    Can’t win can you…

    1. Pedro Andrade
      5th June 2019, 11:44

      So on point. Like all the fans saying that F1 was great in the ealry noughties, but back then everyone was complaining racing was boring. Or people on Youtube comments saying James Allen was a great commentator but everyone back then hated him.

      F1 fans are never happy, geez.

      1. It’s true

        But in fairness although people didn’t like James Allen at the time, Legard, Edwards, and (especially) Croft have made Allen look really good.

        Bear in mind Allen came after Murray Walker, he was always going to be unpopular

    2. Well you can win you go to historic but decent circuits, or make the circuits fix issues. Zand isn’t in because of history but because of Max.

      1. *they’re in The Netherlands for Max, zandfoort is for the history associated with the circuit as opposed to Assen.
        With the popularity of F1 in the Netherlands right now with Max it’d be beyond stupid not to organise a race there.

        1. Given the N is a small market with a small audience its not beyond stupid is ridiculously short sighted. F1 need to be gaining new audience in new markets.

    3. V good point

  7. GtisBetter (@)
    5th June 2019, 16:32

    It’s always hard to get a circuit that ticks all boxes, like funding, crowd engagement and good racing. Some governements don’t want to pay, some tracks have overtaking, but only because of long straights and 3 drs zones and some tracks lack interest, which makes them not viable even with governement funding. I’d say we just see how it goes and take it from there.

  8. Zandvoort is a great circuit, with a lot of character, in a great location and a great addition even if it is hard to overtake. The only thing that I’m afraid of is the sanitation process that might happen to the circuit to «  enhance the show ». Let’s hope they don’t let Tilke get close to this circuit, or ruin the flow of it like they did in Barcelona , or worse yet, the butchered version Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.

    1. Tilke didn’t got the other track to change of the designer of Zandvoort (Japan) Jan Lammers is advising with the modification of the Circuit so we have to wait how it goes next year.

  9. Not many people seem to be talking about the wind. That coastline is very windy. I don’t know if that filters down to trackside, then setting the cars up as well as handling may be very difficult. May prompt mistakes, position switches etc…

    1. That sounds promising. I just rewatched Rush and it really made me excited to think of modern F1 cars going into the first, Tarzan corner. I don’t care for overtaking that much next year, the new rules will hopefully address some of it in two years. I just want to enjoy the revival of the historic track, some unexpected happenings would be just a bonus.

Comments are closed.