Formula One returned after its traditional summer break, albeit this time it is not the Belgian Grand Prix, but the Dutch Grand Prix to kick off the second half of the season. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó picks out the trivia and stats about today's Zandvoort F1 race.
Long history – Today’s Zandvoort race will be the 33rd FIA Formula One World Championship Dutch Grand Prix. The race joined the calendar in 1952 and was a fixture on the schedule until 1985 with the exception of several years – 1954, 1956, 1957 and 1972 - when the race was not held. The inaugural race was won by Alberto Ascari who led a one-two-three finish for Ferrari.
Construction - Situated on the Dutch North Sea coast, the town of Zandvoort already hosted motor racing on its streets as early as the 1930s. After World War II, the permanent venue used today was constructed among the sand dunes, making use of roads laid out by occupying forces.
Dutch designer John Hugenholtz is often credited with creating the circuit alongside his work at Suzuka. But while Hugenholtz became circuit director at Zandvoort, it's actually ‘Bentley Boy' Sammy Davis from England – winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1927 – who is said to have advised the Dutch Automobile Racing Club on the layout.
Banking - Formula One returned to Zandvoort in 2021. Ahead of its return, the track was modified to aid overtaking opportunites: Turn 3 and the last one, Turn 14 (named after former circuit director John Hugenholtz and Dutch driver Arie Luyendyk respectively), were reprofiled and they now sport a 19 and 13 degree banking respectively, which allows drivers to go through them at much higher speeds.
Short layout – Zandvoort is a relatively short track on the current F1 calendar. The circuit sports a length of 4.259km which means that drivers need to complete 72 laps to cover the race distance of 306.648km.
Overtaking – Due to its tight nature, overtaking has never been easy in Zandvoort. Two DRS zones have been mandated to aid overtaking opportunities with the first one placed 50m after Turn 10 and the second one installed 40m after Turn 13. The first DRS zone has its detection point 50m after Turn 10 and the second one 20m after Turn 12.
The most successful ones - Ferrari is the most successful constructor at the Dutch Grand Prix with eight victories. The Scuderia won twice with Alberto Ascari at the wheel with Wolfgang von Trips, Jacky Ickx, Didier Pironi and René Arnoux also having clinched a win with the Maranello-based outfit.
The most successful driver is Jim Clark who won the Dutch Grand Prix four times, followed by Jackie Stewart and Lauda, who won three races apiece. The other repeat winners are Ascari, Jack Brabham, James Hunt, Alain Prost and Max Verstappen with all of them having two triumphs in the Netherlands to their names.
Harder compounds – The banked corners at Turn 3 and Turn 14, and the proliferation of high-speed turns mean that Pirelli arrived at Zandvoort with compounds from the harder end of its range.
The C1 compound is nominated at the Dutch Grand Prix as P Zero White hard, C2 as P Zero Yellow medium and C3 as P Zero Red soft. This is the same choice as the last two years (since Zandvoort returned to the calendar) with the difference being that the current C1 compound is softer than its predecessors.
Reduced speed – Due to the tight nature of the pit lane, the speed limit is set at 60kph during every on-track action of the weekend.
Modifications – The Zandvoort track has gone trhough a few changes since last year. New, upgraded fencing has been installed on the right-hand side at Turn 7and Turn 8 , and in the run-off at Turn 12 to protect marshals. A bump has been removed on the start/finish straight just before the first corner. Furthermore, bumps on the right-hand side between Turns 5 and 6 have also been removed.