Zandvoort wants to create a 'surprise element' for F1 teams with redevelopment

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Zandvoort hopes the current redevelopment will create a "surprise element" for Formula 1 teams when they arrive in May.

Jarno Zaffelli is the man behind the changes going on at the venue for the returning Dutch Grand Prix, with safety improvements and a reprofiling of some corners currently being done.

At the same time, however, the historical aspect is being maintained with gravel traps being retained and that, combined with a fast layout, is expected to provide quite a challenge.

“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 Holland's De Telegraaf.

“This is really going to be a circuit for very brave drivers.”

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The big concern declared by drivers, however, is the sequence of high-speed corners at the top of the circuit and no significantly long straights will make overtaking near-impossible.

“You always hear that at Zandvoort you can’t pass, but that’s why we’ve been called to change that,” Zaffelli argued.

“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 biggest change is the final corner which is being converted into a banked right-hander at an angle steeper than seen at Indianapolis to allow drivers to use DRS on the run to Turn 1 at Tarzan.

However, while close attention is being paid to the redevelopment, it is hoped some aspects of the work done can be kept hidden.

“Teams have the raw data, but not the entire circuit," Zaffelli revealed. "We will keep that to ourselves for a while.

"We’re doing it because we don’t want them to have all the time in the world to simulate. That way there is a surprise element."