After a non-race at Spa-Francorchamps, Formula 1 traveled around 3h30 to the north-west and put down its luggage in Zandvoort, for the grand return of the Dutch Grand Prix.
It is the first time since 1985 that F1 has returned to the Dutch circuit, which features a brand new asphalt and has been redesigned for the occasion by architect Jarno Zaffelli.
The fervor of the Dutch fans, who will be 70,000 in the stands, should be total for the return of Formula 1 to the country, and as Max Verstappen plays for the world title against Lewis Hamilton.
Pirelli has selected the hardest compounds to take no risk on an unknown track. As for the weather, Friday and Saturday promise to be dry, and showers could arrive on Sunday. Fortunately, the weather forecast does not announce anything comparable with the Belgian Grand Prix!
The characteristics of the track
This is the first time that Formula 1 will race on this specific track of the Zandvoort circuit. At that time, the circuit was longer and faster, and its layout was subsequently modified to return to its current form in 1999.
But F1 hasn’t been there since 1985, when it took two greatly changed corners today. Curves 3 and 14, named Hugenholtz and Arie Luyendyk, indeed receive a banking.
In the case of the latter, the objective is to lengthen the zone of full load which constitutes a straight start and finish line. One of the challenges will be the management of the tires, which will be severely tested.
Indeed, the rest of the route is made up of intense turns, like turn 7 which is taken at around 260 km / h and will inflict 5g on the pilots. Turns 8 and 9 will also be demanding fast turns.
Tarzan’s first corner has not changed, it is still a fairly tight curve with several possible trajectories and gravel traps. Because yes, one of the peculiarities of the Zandvoort circuit lies in its wide clearances in which the cars could well come crashing in case of error.
The other parameter to take into account is the proximity to the sea and the dunes, which could bring changeable weather, wind and sand to the track.
The forces involved
As at Spa-Francorchamps, the latest developments of each will play in the balance when establishing a hierarchy. As the layout is unknown, there is no reference on the operation and performance of each single-seater at Zandvoort.
Mercedes F1 and Red Bull, and most notably Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, should again be the big favorites for the win. Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Pérez, not very lively at Spa-Francorchamps in qualifying, will however have to raise their level of play.
Behind, McLaren and Ferrari will continue their duel, the two teams are now separated by 3.5 points. At Spa-Francorchamps, McLaren and in particular Lando Norris had a clear advantage over the Scuderia, but Zandvoort’s physiognomy has little to do with that of the Belgian track.
The winners of the Dutch Grand Prix
|1985||Zandvoort||LAUDA Niki||Mclaren||TAG Porsche|
|1984||Zandvoort||PROST Alain||Mclaren||TAG Porsche|
|nineteen eighty one||Zandvoort||PROST Alain||Renault||Renault|
|1980||Zandvoort||PIQUET Nelson||Brabham||Ford Cosworth|
|1979||Zandvoort||JONES Alan||Williams||Ford Cosworth|
|1978||Zandvoort||ANDRETTI Mario||Lotus||Ford Cosworth|
|1976||Zandvoort||HUNT James||Mclaren||Ford Cosworth|
|1975||Zandvoort||HUNT James||Hesketh||Ford Cosworth|
|1973||Zandvoort||STEWART Jackie||Tyrrell||Ford Cosworth|
|1970||Zandvoort||RINDT Jochen||Lotus||Ford Cosworth|
|1969||Zandvoort||STEWART Jackie||Matra||Ford Cosworth|
|1968||Zandvoort||STEWART Jackie||Matra||Ford Cosworth|
|1967||Zandvoort||CLARK Jim||Lotus||Ford Cosworth|
|1961||Zandvoort||von TRIPS Wolfgang||Ferrari||Ferrari|
|1955||Zandvoort||FANGIO Juan Manuel||Mercedes||Mercedes|