F1 drivers get their way over Zandvoort hazards

Formula 1 drivers fearful that one of the most challenging aspects of the Zandvoort Circuit would be removed due to F1’s return have been sated, as it has been confirmed that gravel traps will remain at the track’s high-speed sections.

The Dutch Grand Prix will return to the calendar next year as Liberty Media looks to jump on the soaring popularity of Max Verstappen in his homeland.

Although the race was last held in F1 in 1985, many of the current grid have driven the track as it has remained a staple in junior categories.

Before the announcement, Sebastian Vettel lamented the track’s potential impact on overtaking, while suggesting that its gravel traps would be replaced by asphalt run-off – something which has impacted excitement levels at other classic circuits.

A sea-change may be in the air, however, as last week’s British GP saw gravel traps at Silverstone extended, and the fearsome hazards at Zandvoort will also remain.

“Our job is to upgrade the circuit to the required Formula 1 standards,” circuit renovator Dromo’s chief Jarno Zafelli told RaceFans.net.

“Together with Zandvoort, the FIA, FOM and the drivers, we are now fully involved in the process to see how we can best adjust the track.

“Some changes will be visible, some will not. It’s about details. The main goal is to keep the circuit as a classic circuit. I’m really not going to destroy the structure and heritage of Zandvoort.

“We are keeping the gravel. This was one of the requests from all the parties.

“FOM requested it because of the heritage of the track. The track [owners] asked for it. And as you know we are more than happy to have gravel instead of asphalt if we think that it is not necessary.”