Excitement in the Netherlands right now is at fever pitch for F1 fans, with the news that the Dutch Grand Prix will return to the calendar from 2020 onwards.
The race will end a 35-year absence for the Zandvoort circuit, which on May 14 got the green light to return. The decision no doubt comes on the back of the huge local interest in the sport rekindled by Red Bull superstar Max Verstappen.
“We are particularly pleased to announce that Formula 1 is returning to race in the Netherlands, at the Zandvoort track,” said F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey.
“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.”
Dutch fans trek over the border to Belgium in their tens of thousands ever year in a pilgrimage to support Verstappen at Spa.
And from next year they can stay home to follow their idol in the flesh.
Here is all you need to know about the big race that the whole of Holland is now waiting for.
When is the F1 2020 Dutch Grand Prix
The Dutch Grand Prix is expected to effectively take the place of the Spanish Grand Prix on the 2020 calendar, taking its slot in early May:
Practice 1: Friday May 8, 2020
Practice 2: Friday May 8, 2020
Practice 3: Saturday May 9, 2020
Qualifying: Saturday May 9, 2020
Race: Sunday May 10, 2020
Where will the Dutch Grand Prix take place?
The Dutch Grand Prix will return to the iconic Circuit Zandvoort in May 2020.
Zandvoort gained popularity because of its fast, sweeping corners such as Scheivlak as well as the “Tarzan” hairpin at the end of the start/finish straight. Tarzanbocht is the most famous corner in the circuit. Since there is a camber in the corner, it provides excellent overtaking opportunities.
It is possible to pass around the outside as well as the easier inside lane. This corner is reportedly named after a local character who had earned the nickname of Tarzan and only wanted to give up his vegetable garden in the dunes if the track’s designers named a nearby corner after him.
F1 confirmed Zandvoort’s facilities will undergo renovations before its race next year, with updates to the infrastructure and the circuit itself to meet required standards. Since 1985, Zandvoort has still remained a regular fixture in junior categories, meaning most drivers have had some experience of it.
Local hero Max Verstappen set an unofficial new lap record of 1:19.511 at Circuit Zandvoort. That came during an F1 demonstration in the Red Bull during May 2017.
After that experience Verstappen explained: “I know from my Formula 3 period that Zandvoort is a great circuit. There is way more grip now with the new tarmac.
“It is more comfortable to drive on, because there aren’t that many bumps anymore, that’s very positive.”
How can I get to Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix?
Zandvoort is a coastal resort in the north of Holland with a long sandy beach. Indeed the circuit’s iconic reputation was added to by the fact it was located in the dunes next to the North Sea. Getting to the town is relatively straightforward from the Dutch capital.
Directions from Amsterdam to Zandvoort:
Car: The journey given normal conditions takes around 40 minutes over a distance of around 45km.
Train: From Amsterdam Centraal station to Zandvoort aan Zee with NS trains, taking between 30 and 35 minutes.
Bus: There are two bus services to Zandvoort aan Zee. From Haarlem central, Zandvoort is approximately 30 minutes travel on bus number 81, while the journey time from Amsterdam marnixstraat on the number 80 bus (via Haarlem and Heemstede-Aerdenhout) takes approximately 50 minutes.
Where can I buy tickets for the Dutch Grand Prix?
Tickets have yet to go on general sale for the 2020 Dutch Grand Prix. Fans looking to get details of the latest information should access the official F1 ticket page to register their interest – they can leave an email address there to be sent any relevant updates.
Special event packages for the 2020 Dutch Grand Prix are now on sale, and can be bought via the F1 Experiences section of the F1 website.
Which drivers have won the Dutch Grand Prix?
The late, great Jim Clark is the most successful F1 driver ever at Zandvoort, grabbing four race victories there between 1963 and 1967. Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda meanwhile both notched three victories at the seaside venue. Lauda took the last running of the race for McLaren in 1985.
Ferrari dominated from a constructor standpoint with nine victories in total before the race was removed from the calendar after the 1985 running, while Lotus were next with six.
The race was held 34 times between 1948 and 1985.
Track Lap Record: 1:16.538 by Alain Prost (McLaren, 1985)