The Dutch are incredibly good at creating works of art; masterpieces which will outlive their creators. They have done it again, re-building the Zandvoort circuit into something totally unseen in the current Formula One calendar. I can only hope that others will appreciate it in its era, unlike the stunning beauty of a Van Gogh.
The new 18-degree turn 3 and 19-degree turn 14 are exciting, as it’s the first time Formula One has competed on banked corners since the U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2007. This year will mark the first time Zandvoort has held a Grand Prix in my entire lifetime, with the last time being 1985.
Naturally, Red Bull Racing sent Dutchman Max Verstappen to the circuit for the first ever laps of the new circuit, and the test went exceedingly well. As you can see from the onboard video above, the track is a proper old-school flowing layout that works with the landscape of Zandvoort’s sand dunes. While there don’t appear to be many good passing zones—especially with the current-spec F1 cars—both banked corners are said to be made of special pavement that will allow multiple lines through them, and someone could probably throw a late-brake down the inside at turn 1.
It’s a fun onboard to watch, as it encourages lots of full-throttle wide-open running. Verstappen and the Red Bull car are quick around the track, even for some preliminary laps. I’m sure that as the circuit gets into its groove and the drivers come to grips with the demands of the Dutch track, times will continue to drop.
It’s probably still not as good as Spa, but it sure looks like it would be a lot of fun. Let’s light the fires and spin the tires, folks. I’m ready for F1 by the beach.