Horner: Formula 1's return to Zandvoort will be 'immense'


Christian Horner says the return of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort will be a massively popular event thanks to Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Liberty Media will officially confirm on Tuesday the race's return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2020, with a May slot allocated to Zandvoort.

Set along the shores of the North Sea, some 40 kilometers east of Amsterdam, the venue is steeped in F1 history but last hosted a Grand Prix back in 1985.

There's no doubt the emergence of Verstappen has rekindled the Netherlands' interest in F1, and the sport's return to Zandvoort 35 years after McLaren's triumph in the dunes with Niki Lauda will be the culmination of that fervor.

"I think a Dutch Grand Prix, with the popularity of Verstappen, is going to be immense. I think that's positive for Formula 1," Horner told Motorsport.com.

"Obviously they've got some bits to do with the circuit, which I'm sure they'll get done, but subject to it being announced it'll be an interesting grand prix.

"I think it'll be a spectacle to see that many fans there, so you better get your hotel early."


Watching Verstappen in action around Zandvoort's sand dunes will indeed draw in the bulk of the crowd. But what can fans expect in terms of the racing itself?

Verstappen's former team mate Daniel Ricciardo isn't sure the crowd will get its money's worth on race day.

"I raced there in F3 and I remember it keeps your eyes open," said the Renault driver.

"The track to drive on is pretty awesome. It is high-speed, it is old school, [you need] big balls.

"From a driving point of view it is fun. But how fast it is, and how narrow some places are, I don't think it would be that exciting for overtaking.

"Just my initial feeling, I think with the speeds we go now, following another car would be very difficult. So that is my reservation with it, I think it could be a very processional race."


Ricciardo sees the 4.2km track as a "tricky" proposition in terms of staging a great race.

"I'm a bit torn because to drive on it would be fun but to race on it would be...with the width of the cars now, it is probably like a street circuit through some of the places.

"And then all high-speed through the middle...we will see but I think it would be tricky to make an exciting race."

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