Dutch Grand Prix returns to Zandvoort. Max: 'It's just an iconic historic track'
Published on 14 May 2019 by Niels Hendrix
Formula 1 is delighted to announce that the Dutch Grand Prix returns to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship from 2020. An agreement has recently been signed between Formula 1 and Dutch Grand Prix – a partnership formed by SportVibes, TIG Sports and the Circuit Zandvoort – and will run for at least three years. Furthermore, Heineken, one of the longstanding Global Partners of Formula 1, will be the Title Sponsor of the event.
Situated not far from the vibrant city of Amsterdam, Zandvoort is a major beach resort in the Netherlands, known for its long beach bordered by magnificent coastal dunes separating the North Sea from the track. The Circuit of Zandvoort has a long history as a Formula 1 venue, and over the coming months, the facility will be rebuilt with help from Zandvoort town council and several other partners. The track and the infrastructure will be modified in order to meet the standards laid out by the FIA in order to host a Formula 1 World Championship event.
When the 2020 race takes place, it will be the 31st Dutch Grand Prix to count as a round of the World Championship. It was first held in 1952, when it was won by a Ferrari, driven by Alberto Ascari, who went on to win the world championship that year. Apart from the Italian, there were a further 19 winners, of which 12 were also world champions. Jim Clark holds the outright record with four wins to his name. The last Dutch Grand Prix took place in 1985 and will return next year as Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix 2020.
Chase Carey, chairman and CEO, Formula 1, said: “We are particularly pleased to announce that Formula 1 is returning to race in the Netherlands, at the Zandvoort track. From the beginning of our tenure in Formula 1, we said we wanted to race in new venues, while also respecting the sport’s historic roots in Europe. Next season therefore, we will have a brand new street race that will be held in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, as well the return to Zandvoort, after an absence of 35 years; a track that has contributed to the popularity of the sport all over the world. In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest in Formula 1 in Holland, mainly due to the enthusiastic support for the talented Max Verstappen, as seen from the sea of orange at so many races. No doubt this will be the dominant colour in the Zandvoort grandstands next year.”
Jean Todt, president of the FIA, said: “I am pleased to see that Zandvoort will be part of the proposed calendar for the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship, and thankful for the hard work of Formula 1 to bring the sport bring the sport back to the Netherlands. It is a circuit with a long and impressive history of competition and is a great challenge for drivers, and with the popularity of Max Verstappen I’m sure there will be a huge number of fans in attendance. There is now a lot of preparation needed to bring the circuit up to the required safety standards to host a Formula 1 race, and we will work towards this together with Formula 1, KNAF – the Dutch ASN – and the circuit organisation.”
Jan Lammers, DGP sporting director, said: “The Zandvoort Circuit is legendary and known worldwide and we’re delighted to see it host a round of the FIA Formula One World Championship once again. 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. In addition, the municipality of Zandvoort has recently invested heavily to improve access to the municipality and the circuit.”
Max Verstappen commented about the Zandvoort Circuit: “It’s just an iconic, historic track. 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 and the track was actually pretty challenging because you have a few banked corners, some places are very narrow and there’s no run off. 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.”