The returning Dutch Grand Prix will favour ‘very brave’ drivers due to the changes to the Zandvoort track, says Jarno Zaffelli, the person most directly responsible for the circuit alterations.
The race has been added to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 1985 to much fanfare, with Liberty Media and the FIA looking to take advantage of the sport’s increasing popularity in the Netherlands due to the emergence of Max Verstappen.
Even though the spirit of the old Zandvoort has been retained, there have been changes made to make it unique compared to other races.
“According to our simulations, the drivers will go at full speed through Turn 2 and after that, it will be very interesting to see which line they take in the Hugenholtz hairpin,” Zaffelli told De Telegraaf.
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“This is really going to be a circuit for very brave drivers.”
When Zandvoort’s return was announced, one of the main complaints, from drivers especially, is that overtaking is difficult on the track, and Zaffelli insists the alterations were implemented in order to alleviate these concerns.
“You always hear that at Zandvoort you can’t pass, but that’s why we’ve been called to change that,” he explained.
“We see this as the project with the highest risk – for us and also for the Formula 1 leadership and everyone involved. For the simple reason that Zandvoort is different.
“We are changing a historical place in a number of parts and coming up with something not seen in Formula 1 for decades.”
The last Dutch GP 35 years ago was won by Niki Lauda, driving for McLaren-TAG.