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Dutch GP: "Unique" banking won't lead to US GP 2005 repeat

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Co-author: Ronald Vording, Writer
Dec 15, 2019, 12:26 PM

The "unique" banking set to be introduced to Dutch Grand Prix venue Zandvoort will not lead to a repeat of Formula 1's calamitous 2005 Indianapolis weekend, the new event's sporting director Jan Lammers insists.

Lammers, who started 23 races with Shadow, ATS, Ensign, Theodore and March, believes that the reintroduction of banked corners to F1 – which will be at an angle of up to 18 degrees – will be a highlight when the Dutch Grand Prix returns to the roster for the first time since 1985.

Three of Zandvoort’s corners – Tarzanbocht, Hugenholtzbocht and Arie Luyendykbocht – will be banked to varying degrees, and this can be seen in the video above.

“This will definitely be a unique track,” said Lammers, the sporting director of the Dutch GP project. “No modern circuit has a banked corner integrated into the actual design of the track. So May 2020 will not only be a comeback of the Dutch Grand Prix, but also a comeback of the banked corner in F1.

“That makes it even more special. All F1 drivers are familiar with normal circuits, but not with a track including some banked corners. So they have to adapt to that, that will be very interesting to see.”

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Lammers is acutely aware of questions raised over the extra demands on the tyres that the bankings will bring, but says the organisers have been talking to Pirelli on a “daily basis” on the subject. Formula 1 suffered one of its most damaging days in recent memory when the Michelin teams pulled out of the 2005 US GP at Indianapolis due to safety concerns following a number of crashes caused by the extra loads of the banked final corner.

“I don't expect any issues with the tyres,” said Lammers. “There are two reasons for that.

“First of all, the corner in Indianapolis is way longer than this one. So the overall tyre load was much heavier there. And second, the corners in Indianapolis have some kind of linear banking. Over here we have a progressive banking, almost comparable to a bobsleigh track.

“We talked to Pirelli as well. Basically from the first moment we thought of creating a banked corner in Zandvoort. We speak to them on a daily basis and share all the updates and information we have.”

In the following video interview, track designer Jarno Zaffelli speaks to Motorsport.tv about how the architectural firm Studio Dromo is going about making the changes…

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Series Formula 1
Event Dutch GP
Author Charles Bradley