Zandvoort banking done with Whiting's enthusiastic support


Zandvoort's couple of banked corners which the Dutch circuit has designed for F1's return in 2020 were imagined with the enthusiastic support of the late Charlie Whiting.

Dutch Grand Prix organisers are in the process of upgrading Zandvoort's historic track ahead of next year's big event.

While most of the work involves infrastructure changes to accommodate F1, a few tweaks to the circuit itself will include a reprofiling of the Turn 4 Hugenholtzbocht and the final right hand Arie Luyendijkbocht, named after Holland's double Indy 500 winner.

Both corners will feature an 18-degree incline - a slope steeper than at the Indianapolis Speedway - that will no doubt get F1drivers' attention.

Dutch GP head of operations Erik Weijers revealed that FIA race director Charlie Whiting, who passed away in Melbourne at the start of the F1 season, had been instrumental in pushing the banking idea through.

"He was also very enthusiastic about the layout of the circuit, the gravel traps and the short pitlane," said Weijers.

"At the Luyendijk bend, he suggested putting a crash barrier directly next to the track. That reduces the impact if you shoot off the track: the farther from the track, the greater the angle and the impact.

"One day after the visit, we went back to the office and said, 'Why don't we do a banking? That goes nicely with Arie, given his roots in America. We put the idea to FOM, they were enthusiastic and that's how we got things rolling."

Zandvoort relied on Italian architect Dromo for the design changes.

"We realised that specialists were needed," added Weijers. "That's how we came in contact with Dromo.

"They started off with our idea and our briefing to keep Zandvoort an old school circuit and it worked very well."


Weijers remembers the first visit to Zandvoort by FOM's representatives and subsequent discussion on how to improve overtaking at the notoriously challenging track.

"We are actually going back to January 2017, when people from Formula One Management came to see the facilities and the circuit for the first time. They were very charmed by the 'old school' circuit," remembered Weijers.

"We indicated that little could be changed about the track. You can't just make the straight two hundred meters longer.

"We then went to see with the technical people at FOM how we could make Zandvoort 'sexy' and suitable for overtaking.

"The first idea was to make turn 13 sharper or to insert a chicane to take out the speed, so that the drivers could accelerate full to the first turn and the DRS could open early."

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