Formula One’s owners, Liberty Media have been targeting a Dutch Grand Prix for a while now. Now, the Assen circuit has emerged as a potential candidate to host an F1 Grand Prix. Recently, Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting visited the track for an inspection. If Whiting gives the goes ahead, the venue will be granted a Grade 1 licence and be able to host a Grand Prix.
The Assen chiefs issued a statement on Friday. They said that following the ‘thorough inspection’, Whiting’s verdict was that only a few minor changes were required for the FIA to be happy it could hold an F1 race. The alterations included adding extra kerbstones, guardrails and Tecpro barriers at certain points around the track.
The circuit itself requires no major changes to the layout could remain unchanged. This is important because track chiefs would not agree to hold an F1 race if it negatively affected the Dutch TT MotoGP event. Whiting’s track inspection came after the FIA conducted a preliminary assessment.
In December, it was confirmed that the TT Circuit Assen met the FIA’s Grade 1 safety requirements in terms of track layout and width. Circuit chairman Arjan Bos said: “It’s extremely pleasant to hear that Charlie Whiting is also very happy with the track, the modern facilities and the level of maintenance. His positive judgement is an important step in the right direction to get Formula 1 back to the Netherlands, but we are not there yet. Far from it. The next step would be for the FOM to pay a visit to the TT Circuit Assen. This will likely happen in the near future.”
Last year, Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches said that he was interested in bringing the Dutch Grand Prix back on the calendar. However, he had an inclination towards a street circuit venue in one of the country’s major cities.