Formula 1

Bigger banking among changes tipped to help Zandvoort racing – F1

Zandvoort organisers are hoping that a revised final corner with steeper banking will contribute to increased overtaking opportunities when the Dutch Grand Prix returns to the track in 2020.

The changes to the right-hander named after Arie Luyendyk, which leads onto the pit straight down to the heavy braking zone at the famous Tarzan first corner, are among a series of updates that have been planned for the track.

They include a new shape for the Hugenholtz hairpin behind the pits, which has remained essentially unchanged since the track opened in 1948.

Questions have been raised by drivers over whether Zandvoort will be a track that lends itself to overtaking in F1. However Dutch GP sporting director and ex-Formula 1 driver Jan Lammers is convinced that the changes will make for better racing.

“The Gelachbocht, the open right hand corner, Turn 3 effectively, will get a bigger run-off area,” Lammers told Autosport.

“Turn 4, the Hugenholz hairpin up the hill, will have a wider inside, to make the corner more fluid, so it won’t be a stop-start corner.

“The same thing will happen with the S-chicane, or the Hans Ernst Bocht.

“That will also become more fluid by putting more tarmac on the inside.

“And then the Arie Luyendyk Bocht will be accommodated exactly to his liking, as it will be a little bit more like Indianapolis, because it will be banked.

“It will be banked in such a way that you can go flat out with DRS open, and in that way we hope to encourage more overtaking for the Tarzan corner.

“It will be 17 degrees, so the corner will have the same character as the last corner in Brazil [Interlagos].”

It is hoped that Zandvoort’s short pitlane will encourage teams to make more pit stops than they would usually do. Pit stops at most tracks are over 20 seconds in duration, but Lammers reckons stops will be around six seconds quicker than that, meaning the penalty for stopping will be less compared to the time gained from fresh rubber.

“The other big change to enhance overtaking will be the pit entry,” Lammers added.

“That will be made quicker so we will have pit stops of maximum elapsed time 14 seconds. “If we do that we hope that we can create three pit stop strategies.

“And as we all know it’s the pit stops and the [trade-off] of old tyres versus new tyres, that is what creates the overtaking.

“That’s why the philosophy around the pitlane has changed.

“Also the start/finish is moving a little bit towards Tarzan, to make sure that in front of the main grandstand you can see the whole field.”

Lammers acknowledged that the lack of run-off around much of the track will contribute to the challenge.

“It’s a track that is going to be very unforgiving of course,” he added.

“But we’ve seen that in Baku, and we know that from Monaco, that one mistake and your race weekend can be over.

“It will be a track where it will be crucial that you don’t make mistakes.

“It adds to the unpredictability, and that unpredictability is probably what we want at the moment.”

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