In exciting news for all Dutch motorsport fans and admirers of the old-school F1 circuits, Autosport has exclusively revealed that Zandvoort is in line to replace the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as the first European race of the calendar from 2020.
The Spanish Grand Prix currently stands as the first non-flyaway race on the calendar, traditionally placed before Monaco as the European season begins in earnest. But, according to Autosport, that right will now fall on Zandvoort, the circuit last hosting the race in 1985 when Niki Lauda won his final grand prix.
The news will come as a delight to the hordes of Dutch Max Verstappen fans, known as the ‘Orange Army’, who currently count the Belgian Grand Prix as their home race.
#ThrowbackThursday at Circuit Zandvoort with the podium of the Dutch Grand Prix in 1985. Three F1 legends together…
🥇 Niki Lauda (McLaren)
🥈 Alain Prost (McLaren)
🥉 Ayrton Senna (Lotus)#f1podium1985 #f1whowillbenext
📸: Archive Circuit Zandvoort & https://t.co/Hw7Bwzfxa0 pic.twitter.com/ndn1C8oPvY
— Circuit Zandvoort (@CPZtweets) March 28, 2019
Of course, as Motorsport Tech has already reported, getting any circuit, old or new, up to the modern standards expected takes a great deal of time and effort. But because the circuit already exists, and is used for sportscar and historic racing, the necessary improvements are expected to be made in time for May 2020.
Also reported by Autosport, it is understood that Monza is close to finalising a deal to keep the historic circuit as part of the F1 calendar until 2024.
“ACI and Formula 1 have reached a general agreement regarding the economic aspects of the collaboration contract for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza for the next five-year period 2020-2024”, read a statement from Italy’s motorsport federation, ACI, on Tuesday.
“The General Council of the Automobile Club of Italy has therefore given its President Angelo Sticchi Damiani a mandate to continue negotiating with Formula 1 on all the technical and commercial aspects relating to the partnership, so as to reach, in a short time, the signing the contract and making the collaboration fully operational.”
It was also rumoured on Tuesday that Silverstone had signed a contract to keep hosting the British Grand Prix on the calendar until 2022 but the circuit was quick to quash those reports on Twitter.
Unfortunately there is unsubstantiated news circulating this morning regarding the agreement of a new deal for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. At this time we can confirm that we have not agreed a contract however talks are still progressing.
— Silverstone (@SilverstoneUK) April 30, 2019