Perhaps something that’s been on the cards for quite a long time, certainly since the rise of Max Verstappen and his Orange fanatics have poured into Spa Francorchamps in Belgium and the Red Bull Ring in Austria, now they will get a GP of their own.
Hints from several sources prior to the race in Baku have been given in recent weeks, perhaps most notably by Joe Saward in his GP+ publication, then later on during his guest spot on the Missed Apex Podcast.
Now since these rumours, more weight has been thrown onto the speculation that now seems to be actually happening.
According to Dutch Formula 1 commentator Olav Mol, Liberty Media owned Formula One Management (FOM) will announce that the Dutch Grand Prix will be back as soon as next year.
The Dutch sports commentator claimed that the announcement will happen around the 16th of May during the talkshow Peptalk. Olav says that his talks with some FOM bosses over the Baku weekend revealed that the announcement is imminent.
Where would this GP be held? The announcement is thought to be at around the same time as Max Verstappen’s ‘Jumbo Racedagen’ event to be held at the Zandvoort Circuit. It is believed that F1 will once again race in the sand dunes of Holland.
According to Zandvoort circuit spokesperson Jan Lammers, there will be some minor changes to the track. Namely the ‘Hugenholtz-corner (which is the hairpin) and the part coming on to the main straight. These changes can be made very quickly, in a matter of a few months, in time for next year.
Doubters that the infrastructure can be implemented might want to look back to the Mexican race, where the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City was in a terrible state of repair just a short time before the first race in the modern era a few years ago.
Verstappen remains tight-lipped on the Grand Prix, indeed in Baku not much was given away from the Red Bull Racing Honda driver who narrowly missed out on a possible podium, or so the Dutchman claims.
Verstappen thinks that had the Virtual Safety car not been deployed, he would’ve overhauled Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for third sport.
“In general we had a good race,” said Verstappen. “I always had the Mercedes and Ferrari in sight and I was just trying to close the gap.
“At the start I was blocked and couldn’t really brake deep into the corner, which allowed [Sergio] Pérez to get past me. Of course, that lost me a bit of ground but you don’t want to risk everything on Lap 1. Once I got back past, we went a little bit longer than the others on the soft tyre and I had a good feeling with the car.
“We had good pace, especially on the medium tyre in the second stint where I closed the gap by seven or eight seconds. With the Virtual Safety Car, I think I lost too much tyre temperature and I couldn’t get it back as quickly as the others. Around here, tyre temperature is key and you end up sliding a lot more with low temperatures so it wasn’t worth risking the position in the final laps.”