Formula 1 will return to the Netherlands in 2020, as the Dutch Grand Prix has been confirmed at the Circuit Zandvoort.
Rumours have abounded for many months that Formula 1 has been itching for a return to the Netherlands, in light of Max Verstappen being one of the most popular drivers in the sport.
The Circuit Zandvoort, built just after the end of World War II, has held Grand Prix racing since 1949 and formally became a round of the Formula 1 World Championship in 1955. It held the Dutch Grand Prix every year from then until 1985, aside from 1972 due to a driver’s strike.
Rumours regarding the return of the Dutch Grand Prix also linked the TT Assen Circuit as a possible venue for the race, but a letter of intent was signed in March that would see the Grand Prix return to Zandvoort as long as funding was found.
An agreement has recently been signed between Formula 1 and Dutch Grand Prix – a partnership formed by SportVibes, TIG Sports and the Circuit Zandvoort – and will run for at least three years.
The FIA’s Jean Todt welcomed the return of the historic track, but confirmed that works will be required at the venue to bring it to FIA Grade 1 status: “I am pleased to see that Zandvoort will be part of the proposed calendar for the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship, and thankful for the hard work of Formula 1 to bring the sport bring the sport back to the Netherlands.”
“It is a circuit with a long and impressive history of competition and is a great challenge for drivers, and with the popularity of Max Verstappen I’m sure there will be a huge number of fans in attendance. There is now a lot of preparation needed to bring the circuit up to the required safety standards to host a Formula 1 race, and we will work towards this together with Formula 1, KNAF – the Dutch ASN – and the circuit organisation.”
A date for the race is yet to be announced, but this announcement is expected to come at the expense of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona as the European season opener in early May, with the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya dropping off the calendar. However, this is unconfirmed for now.
The word is out: after 35 years we’re back on track with the Dutch Grand Prix! The greatest race spectacle on the planet will return to Zandvoort.
There will officially be a @F1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix 2020 🇳🇱.#DutchGP pic.twitter.com/EHzTX1auzu
— Circuit Zandvoort (@CPZtweets) May 14, 2019