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Zandvoort F1 return "realistic" from 2020

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Zandvoort F1 return "realistic" from 2020
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Nov 19, 2017, 2:42 PM

Zandvoort could realistically host a Formula 1 race from 2020, according to one of the Dutch circuit's co-owners.

Jochen Mass,McLaren M23 Ford leads Tom Pryce, Shadow DN5A Ford
Niki Lauda, BRM P160E, goes off, Chris Amon, Tecno PA123B, Emerson Fittipaldi, Lotus 72E Ford, Mike Hailwood, Surtees TS14A Ford, and David Purley, March 731 Ford
Alain Prost leads Niki Lauda, both McLaren MP4/2B TAG Porsche
Start: Alan Jones, Williams leads
Hans Herrmann, Porsche 718 leads Phil Hill, Ferrari Dino 156
Alberto Ascari, Ferrari 500 and Mike Hawthorn, Cooper T20-Bristol, lead at the start

A feasibility study into the former Dutch Grand Prix venue hosting F1 again was completed last week on behalf of the track and the municipality of Zandvoort.

It evaluated the organisational and logistical requirements of holding a grand prix, as well as what the financial benefits would be.

Zandvoort’s last Dutch Grand Prix was held in 1985, and circuit co-owner Bernhard van Oranje said the study was carried to support “a hunch” – which he claims has been validated.

“I believe Liberty Media is looking for a way to make the sport attractive and I think they know what they need to do,” he told Motorsport.com.

“In my opinion, an ‘old-school’ race track belongs on the calendar, where if you run off the track you will hit the gravel.

“It’s no surprise that Zandvoort is the most popular track among the DTM drivers, it’s a challenging track and therefore fun to drive and for fans fun to watch. So, I believe the track fits in their [F1 owners'] strategy.

“Don’t expect the event to happen before 2020, but after that it would be a realistic scenario.”

Zandvoort has an FIA Grade 2 licence and it would cost at least €10million to upgrade it to the Grade 1 licence necessary to host a grand prix.

Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting paid an “unofficial” visit to the track in the summer, which van Oranje claimed resulted in the suggestion of “limited adjustments”, including a longer pitlane and larger pit areas.

Van Oranje explained that the next step is to discuss the ambition with the government and businesses to find the necessary support.

“We need to find a larger consortium to bring an event like that to the Netherlands,” he said.

“If that’s positive, we’ll sit together to see what is possible and take the return on investment into account.

“The next step is to see what kind of demands there are and at some point you need to acquire a spot on the calendar.”

While F1 bosses have have targeted a street track for their Dutch GP plans, Amsterdam and Rotterdam officials ruled out the possibility of hosting races in those cities - although local political parties in the latter have maintained an interest.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Tim Biesbrouck