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Zandvoort would need "minimal" changes for F1 return

FIA race director Charlie Whiting believes Zandvoort would need "minimal" changes in order to host a Formula 1 grand prix.

Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Renault RE20,  leads Nelson Piquet, Brabham BT49-Ford Cosworth, hidden, Bruno Giacomelli, Alfa Romeo 179B, Gilles Villeneuve, Jody Scheckter, both Ferrari 312T5, Mario Andretti, Lotus 81-Ford Cosworth, John Watson, McLaren M29C-Ford Cosworth, Didier Pironi, Ligier JS11/15-Ford Cosworth, Elio de Angelis, Lotus 81-Ford Cosworth, Riccardo Patrese, Arrows A3-Ford Cosworth, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Tyrrell 010-Ford Cosworth, Eddie Cheever, Osella FA1-Ford Cosworth,  and Nigel Mansell, Lotus 81B-Ford Cosworth, at the start

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Whiting recently visited Zandvoort to determine what course of action would be needed to bring the circuit up to modern F1 specification, the track having last hosted the Dutch GP in 1985.

Zandvoort was since rebuilt and shortened to its current length of 4.3kms (2.6 miles) and it has hosted contemporary F1 machinery in demo runs, with Max Verstappen breaking the track record in a 2012 car earlier this year.

The circuit co-owner has also stated that an F1 return to Zandvoort is "realistic," with Whiting now believing it is a feasible project.

"I think there's great potential there in Zandvoort," said Whiting when asked by Motorsport.com.

"A few things need to be changed there, and there's a great willingness to change. But I think it's rather too early to be talking about that.

"They're coming back to us with some proposals, and we'll see purely from a circuit point of view - nothing to do with the commercial elements of it - but from a circuit safety point of view I think it could be done.

"There would be a nice long straight good enough to use DRS well, and you'd maintain the historic elements of the circuit as well. I think it would be a very nice circuit."

Asked if changes to the layout would be required, Whiting said: "Not a lot. The amount of work is relatively minimal."

Whiting stressed that more elements will need to be considered before the venue would meet all of F1's requirements.

"I went to look at it [Zandvoort] from a safety point of view," Whiting added. "Could the track be modified to cope with modern F1 cars? That's all.

"Now how big the paddocks are, access, where you are going to put spectators is not something that I would get involved in normally."

Following the Russian GP, Whiting travelled to Hanoi to look at a potential site of a Vietnamese GP.

The site is around 9kms (5.6 miles) outside of Hanoi in an area undergoing development, with some roads intended to be used in a grand prix yet to be built.

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