F1 could return to Zandvoort from 2020, says track owner


Formula 1 has a "realistic" chance of returning to the dunes of Zandvoort from 2020, according to the Dutch circuit's co-owner Bernhard van Oranje.

A feasibility study conducted on behalf of the track and the municipality of Zandvoort has validated the venue as a potential candidate for a Grand Prix

"I believe Liberty Media is looking for a way to make the sport attractive and I think they know what they need to do,โ€ van Oranje Motorsport.com.

"In my opinion, an โ€˜old-schoolโ€™ race track belongs on the calendar, where if you run off the track you will hit the gravel.

"Itโ€™s no surprise that Zandvoort is the most popular track among the DTM drivers, itโ€™s a challenging track and therefore fun to drive and for fans fun to watch. So, I believe the track fits in their [F1 owners'] strategy.

"Donโ€™t expect the event to happen before 2020, but after that it would be a realistic scenario."

FIA race director Charlie Whiting visited Zandvoort over the summer to recommend changes necessary to upgrade the facility to the mandatory Grade 1 licence associated with Grand Prix circuits.

Van Oranje says the next step will be to gauge the financial interest from the government and the business community.

"We need to find a larger consortium to bring an event like that to the Netherlands," he said.

"If thatโ€™s positive, weโ€™ll sit together to see what is possible and take the return on investment into account.

"The next step is to see what kind of demands there are and at some point you need to acquire a spot on the calendar."

The last Dutch Grand Prix took place at Zandvoort in 1985. Liberty Media recently showed interest in the country hosting a street race, either in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, but both cities have ruled out the idea for now.

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