Chase Carey, CEO of Formula One Management (FOM), today officially announced that the Formula 1 race will return to the Netherlands after an absence of 35 years. With Heineken as title sponsor, the official name of the event will be: Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix. The choice of FOM for the organization of the Grand Prix fell - as expected - at Zandvoort and not at Assen.
The return of the Zandvoort Grand Prix is widely supported by many parties. For example, the municipality of Zandvoort was willing to invest € 4 million in the event. Partners such as Pon, Volker Wessels, Jumbo Supermarkten and CM.Com have also played a financial role in the lobby to bring the prestigious Formula 1 to Zandvoort. Heineken has been active as a sponsor in Formula 2016 since 1 and is, in addition to being co-financer, even the name giver of the race that will be held in Zandvoort in May 2020. The Dutch government stated earlier that it would not invest any money in the event.
Probably more than 200.000 visitors
It has now become clear that the expected 200.000 visitors can decide for themselves how they will travel to the seaside resort in North Holland. The infrastructure seems limited at this time to accommodate so many people, which is one of the reasons why the sponsors have contributed to improve the accessibility of the event, a challenge given the fairly short time lag between today's decision and the actual race . Reportedly, the interest is already massive and the hotels in Zandvoort and the surrounding area are already fully booked.
Adjustments to circuit
Jan Lammers briefly explained which changes to the circuit will be implemented. The former driver said, among other things, that the starting line will be shifted, so that all participants stand in front of the main stand at the start. The third bend - the Gerlach bend - is made wider for safety reasons. Furthermore, the Hugenholtz bend is widened for better flow, just like the Hans Ernst bend. There are also adjustments to the pits, due to the speed.
Assen is only in place
Zandvoort and Assen were in the race for months to organize a Formula 1 in the Netherlands. According to Zandvoort, Assen has never been seriously in the picture, while the initiators in Drenthe have always said that they were on standby if the seaside resort were not to complete the organization. The infrastructure, the space and the experience with many visitors in combination with the numerous TT events that were held in Assen, made the Drenthe circuit a candidate. However, Zandvoort may co-organize the Grand Prix of the Netherlands in 2020 because of the historic contribution it made to the popularity of motor sport. “And that while relatively little had to be invested in Assen. The historical emotion has been a factor in bringing the Formula 1 back to Zandvoort. But of course we warmly congratulate the colleagues in Zandvoort, "says Jos Vaessen, chairman of The Dutch Grand Prix Foundation.
Niki Lauda the last winner
In 1948 the first Grand Prix of Zandvoort was held, and amid a further complete British starting field won by the Thai Prince Bira (Birabong Bandubandh), with a Maserati. In 1952, Zandvoort hosted the Formula 1 for the first time. The grand prize was ridden from that moment under the name Grand Prix of the Netherlands. Alberto Ascari took the first place with his Ferrari. On 25 August 1985, Niki Lauda won the last Grand Prix of Zandvoort so far, ahead of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. The numbers one and two both rode with the car of the Mc Laren TAG team.
Dutchman also at the start during the last edition
During the last Dutch Grand Prix a Dutchman also appeared at the start: Huub Rothengatter closed the line at the start and had the 26e position. Rothengatter, who started the race with the Alfa Romeo V8 from Osella Squadra Corse, did not appear in the final classification. The Dutch Formula 1 fans will give the successful Max Verstappen in 2020 more chances. The young Limburger has been performing excellent in the royal class for several years. The Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix 3 may be driven on May or 10 on May.