No risk of Indy 2005 repeat, Dutch GP chiefs assure

Jamie Woodhouse
Zandvoort PA

Circuit Zandvoort gets new name and Grade 1 licence.

Bosses at the Zandvoort circuit have assured that there will be no repeat of the disastrous 2005 US GP when the Dutch GP returns to F1 next year.

In 2020 the Dutch GP will return to the F1 calendar and it will be held at a reprofiled Zandvoort circuit.

And arguably the biggest talk point regarding the circuit’s facelift is the new banked final corner which will be steeper than that of the Indianapolis circuit which formerly hosted F1’s United States Grand Prix.

F1 fans still shiver at the suggestion of the 2005 event where all the Michelin runners retired from the race after the formation lap with the tyre supplier unable to guarantee that their tyres could cope with the banked corner, leaving just the six Bridgestone drivers to race.

But, Dutch Grand Prix sporting director Jans Lammers has batted away fears of a repeat.

“I don’t expect any issues with the tyres,” Lammers told GPToday. “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.

“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.”

Lammers pointed out that by working banked corners into the Zandvoort circuit they are doing something truly unique and reintroducing the concept into F1.

“No modern circuit has a banked corner integrated into the actual design of the track,” he said.

“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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