The Circuit Zandvoort is undergoing a massive overhaul ahead of its return to the F1 calendar in the 2020 season. According to architect Jarno Zaffelli, only the ‘bravest drivers’ will reap the rewards of the remodelled track layout. He even boasted that the track has new features that teams will be unable to reproduce in their simulators.
Speaking to Formule 1, Zaffelli said, “Teams have the raw data, but they do not have the entire circuit. We will keep that data for ourselves for a while. We do that because we do not want them to have all the time to simulate. That way there is an element of surprise in it.”
The iconic circuit Zandvoort has played host to 34 Dutch Grands Prix, during its F1 tenure. The most successful driver was Jim Clark with four victories, while the late Niki Lauda was the last winner. In all honesty, it would be poetic to see Lewis Hamilton become the next winner after his good friend, Niki.
However, the return of the Dutch Grand Prix would not have been possible without Max Verstappen’s popularity and a surge in Dutch fans.
Interestingly, the 2020 drivers will face a different circuit, compared to the one that Clark and Lauda were used to. One new addition, is a remodelled steep curve named after original track designer John Hugenholtz and a banked final corner.
Zaffelli told De Telegraaf that their estimates reveal that drivers can take turn 2 flat out. However, the real challenge will be picking a line through the Hugenholtz bend.
He declared, “This is really going to be a circuit for very brave drivers!”
The architect even explained that the dramatic changes were a response to driver concerns. They were afraid that the nature of the old track would made overtaking problematic for modern F1 cars.