When Was the Last Dutch GP? Who Won the Race and Why Was It Canceled?

Published 09/01/2021, 5:37 AM EDT


After a weary race at Spa, the circus heads to the Netherlands. The renewed Zandvoort circuit awaits them, 36 years since it was last raced in. But when was the last Dutch GP, and who took the victory?

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Dutch GP history

F1 arrived in Zandvoort in 1952 for the first time. Ferrari’s Alberto Ascari dominated the race, becoming the first winner at the circuit. The series visited the track repeatedly, but was not a consistent part of the F1 calendar.

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The last time the Dutch heard the sounds of F1 cars was in 1985. Alain Prost had won the previous race at Zandvoort in 1981 and looked to build his streak in ’85.

In qualifying, Nelson Piquet took the pole position for the race. However, his Brabham stalled at the race start and had to be given a push start. Piquet was initially a lap behind the race leaders, but finished the race at an impressive eighth.

On race day, however, all eyes were on Niki Lauda and Alain Prost. The teammates battled for the lead during the final twelve laps of the race. Devoid of team orders, the battle for the win was a grand one.

Eventually, Lauda took his 25th and final win at Zandvoort. The sister McLaren-TAG finished second, only 0.23 seconds behind. Prost’s rival, Ayrton Senna, finished third in his Lotus. However, the two McLarens were so far ahead of the grid that Senna crossed the line 48 seconds behind the duo.

Due to make its return in 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic had other plans for the sport. Adding another year to the wait, the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix promises to be magnificent.

What is to come?

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The 2021 race has the potential to be as dramatic as the one held 36 years ago. Weather conditions left the championship rivals foundered at Spa; the ‘race’ lacking the opportunity for a battle. Hence, the Dutch GP presents the perfect outlet for the bubbling competition.

Max Verstappen will race at Zandvoort with the roars of the Orange Army to welcome him; a situation that served him well at the two races in Austria. Lewis Hamilton holds on to the lead by 3 points, something that could be an easy grab for the Dutchman. As the protagonists make their way through the dunes, the focus would be on getting those game-changing points.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 20, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action at the end of the race REUTERS/Yves Herman

With a championship rivalry kindred to that of the legends, will Max and Lewis face an intense battle at Spa, or will it be an easy win for one of the two? The possibility of an unexpected win isn’t far-fetched, as F1 keeps its element of surprise.

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Shreya Sanjeev

343 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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