Zandvoort: the last F1 challenge with a cant "in conditions"

Lauda, ​​Prost and Senna, possibly the three best drivers in classic Formula 1, won in that order the last podium of the Dutch GP, held at Zandvoort in 1985. Jim Clark (4 times), Stewart (3), Lauda (3), Ascari (2), Brabham (2), Hunt (2) or the Professor (2) won in these arenas, it has been raced there since 1952 . They are names of legend who this Sunday (3:00 p.m., Dazn F1) Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton or an ‘outsider’ will join.

The Dutch coast circuit is an old school track, very twisty, narrow and with natural slopes apart from the spectacular final curve, with a dizzying lean angle to facilitate overtaking on the home straight. Perhaps the first stop is the only clear point to dispute the position to another car, because it will be difficult for two lines to coexist on the track beyond the straight. Even so, one lap promises a spectacular classification and will also demand the best of twenty riders with no experience on its asphalt.

Carlos Sainz knows him from his Formula 3 journey And so he took the opportunity to describe it after the first round of laps in the Ferrari simulator in Maranello: “In an F3 it was a lot of fun to drive there, very narrow, but I don’t know it with the new cant at the end. I don’t see much of a chance of overtaking, but it is a real challenge for the driver on the qualifying lap. I did about twenty laps the other day in the simulator and I see that this is a good cant. It doesn’t have a bit of slight camber like the ones on Mugello, this is much more pronounced, on another level. The lap will be very fast, very short. As much as in Canada or Austria. “

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The track was designed by the Dutch John Hugenholtz, prestigious ‘composer’ of spectacular circuits such as Suzuka, Zolder or el Jarama. The similarities between Zandvoort and the beloved Madrid circuit are constant and before its recent refurbishment, it seemed implausible that such a narrow track would be in a position to host an F1 GP. The paddock will have to be divided into two sectors because there will hardly be space for trucks and ‘hospitalities’, And it will be a challenge to host 70,000 Verstappen fans every day in a coastal setting with easily saturated access points.

The simulator

Free practice will be the real contact for all pilots, although the simulator, in the factory, allows you to go with your homework done. “With a new track, which you’ve never been to, the simulator comes in handy. There are circuits like Singapore where you literally don’t know where you are. The simulator helps you to know in which part of the circuit you are at all times, where each vertex is. But it is more complex to know how the car will feel, or where a pothole is. Still, the simulators are impressive and increasingly complex, “explains Sainz.

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