A quick look at some websites today, I came across the Austrian website Speedweek.com. A rather Red Bull F1 biased publication, but a decent read. Today they published some images of the new banking for some turns at Zandvoort.
Below are the photo’s taken from Speedweek.com, but also some translated copy (excuse the weird translation grammar). Plus a little history on Zandvoort at the bottom of this page. Enjoy.
Zandvoort: Steep curve more extreme than in Indianapolis!
by Mathias Brunner
Since the beginning of November a construction sign can be seen on the website of the Dutch race track Zandvoort – the track will be rebuilt for the return of Formula 1 2020, with some great details.
Zandvoort has been a no-go area for visitors since 4th November: the historic Dutch circuit will be rebuilt for the return of Formula 1 in May 2020, when the top class will be a guest for the first time since 1985.
Especially the last bend before the start and finish will be a tough one. Zandvoort CEO Robert von Overdijk has declared at BRN Niewusradio that it will be raised by 15 degrees, which is fifty percent more than the curves in the legendary Indy oval.
Ex-GP driver Jan Lammers is eager to see how the drivers will solve this challenge.
“What will the drivers do? Around at the bottom? A high line? This bend will unfold its very own charm. The whole circuit is of old shot and corn, like Monza, Spa-Francorchamps or Suzuka.”
In the Formula 1 drivers’ paddock it was rumoured that the return of the Zandvoort-GP next May would be in a tight spot. Ex-GP driver Jan Lammers (62) defends himself as Zandvoort’s head of sport against this talk.
When it became clear last May that we were returning to Zandvoort for a Formula 1 World Championship round for the first time since 1985, a Dutch Grand Prix reporter told me: “If you think the traffic jams at Le Castellet were bad in 2018, then wait and see what will happen at Zandvoort in 2020”.
Just like at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France, the access to the Dutch circuit on the North Sea is problematic. And there is also a lot to be done on the track, as Jan Lammers confirms. The 23-time GP participant was in Formula 1 for Shadow, Ensign, ATS, Theodore and March. In other words: He never had any usable material. With a competitive racing car, he was able to show what he was capable of at Le Mans 1988 – victory with Jaguar, alongside Andy Wallace and Johnny Dumfries. Today, the 63-year-old Lammers is Sports Director of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
Lammers has to defend himself against the talk that the approach is questionable and that the race track would not be ready in time. “It’s true that there’s still a lot to do, but we’re on the ball. We’re not worried about whether we’ll do it. We know we can do that. I think some people will be pretty surprised next May. A first stage will be completed before Christmas. We’ll finish and we’ll present a nice layout.”
And what about the alleged delay? “I can understand the situation of certain media. If there’s not much to report, you have to be creative. It’s easy to find something negative. But there is nothing to worry about. The route will be ready on 3 May. I prefer to stick to the people who work on the project and therefore know what is going on. Of course this is all a challenge. If you haven’t held a Grand Prix for 35 years, you have to get used to everything again. But I think you should treat the work of our professionals with respect. We don’t take things lightly, but we can say: “Everything is going according to plan”.
At a press conference last May, Lammers explained what will change on the traditional circuit when the GP circus returns. “First of all, we are moving the start/finish line a little closer to the Tarzan curve so that the starting grid from the main stand can be seen better. The exit of the Gerlachbocht will be widened for safety reasons. The following Hugenholtzbocht will be wider inside, so the pilots can take more momentum to the passage towards Scheivlak with them.” The Hugenholtzbocht is named after slope architect Hans Hugenholtz, who also designed the Suzuka and Jarama tracks.
Lammers continues: “The second part of Hans Ernstbocht will be shortened but extended, which should allow a more fluid line and put an end to the stop-and-go character of this passage. The last turn before start and finish, named after race driver Arie Luyendyk, is slightly elevated to flatten the rear wing early in the race and thus attack an opponent on the following straight.”
1979 Dutch Grand Prix – Desperation or Dedication?
Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler Jennie Mowbray
“Talent is cheap; dedication is expensive. It will cost you your life.”
~Irving Stone – The Agony and the Ecstasy~
Zandvoort 1979. With only three races left to run in the season Ferrari drivers occupied the top two places in the championship. Jody Scheckter was in the lead with 38 points while Gilles Villeneuve with 32 points was tied with Jacques Lafitte driving a Ligier. The championship title was not quite decided…yet…
Villeneuve started the race from the third row of the grid with his teammate and main title challenger sitting right beside him. By the end of the lap Gillies had already leapfrogged those in front of him and was now up to second place, intent on hunting down Alan Jones ahead of him. He surprised Jones when he took the lead of the race by audaciously going around him on the outside of the Tarzanbocht corner on lap eleven.
Unfortunately he now had to traverse the entire lap before reaching the refuge of his pit box as he slid off just after the start-finish line. Initially he had three wheels providing traction to the tarmac, but by half lap distance he was relegated to two wheels as the right front wheel was floating in the air. The left rear suspension had been completely destroyed with the wheel dangling and bumping around without anything to hold it in place. He expertly managed to control his car and get it around the circuit…maybe his extensive experience of driving in the snow with minimal traction was paying off…
Gilles was fighting for the championship that day and there was no way he was going to just quit. Gaston Parent, Villeneuve’s manager said, “Gilles was blowing his stack, yelling, ‘Put a f***ing wheel on there! Let me go out again!’ Finally they made him see the back of the car was a disaster. Then people criticised him for dangerous driving again. His argument was that he didn’t know it was so bad. But, believe me, Villeneuve would have gone out again on three wheels! That was the way he was.”