F1 returns to Zandvoort 36 years later. Up to 1985 overtaking in the Netherlands was not a problem because the straight that led to the braking of the Tarzan corner was very long and preceded by a fast section.
Today's Zandvoort circuit measures 4.252 km and in the race 72 laps are covered, for a total distance of 306.144 km.
This is an old school track, where courage and millimeter precision are needed to make the perfect lap: one of the most loved tracks by drivers and motorsport enthusiasts, despite the fact that overtaking remains a really complicated matter.
The most discussed and awaited part of the track is the renewed last corner, transformed into a parabolic with 18-degree banking that should have been covered with the DRS open, before the FIA forbade it, as anticipated a few days ago.
Circuit chief Jan Lammers said: “That is the decision of the FIA. They just want to see how it goes this year and they want to collect data in real life.
“They’re not taking any risks and that’s understandable for this first edition in 36 years.”
Craig Wilson, head of vehicle performance at F1 and figure that helps to create and test circuit designs, was the one who suggested this.
"A comment came back and said: 'could we do banking?" - said Wilson - "I thought about it, and it was: 'Okay well leave it with me, let me work out what level of banking would be required on the concept of could we, rather than have DRS open after the last turn, could we open DRS through the last turn?
"We went through it, we used our simulation and then we came back and said 'okay well you'd need at least this level of banking to be able to do it. I had assessed it with two different methods, in terms of car stability and the aerodynamic loss, and it looks like it can work.
"Then it was a case of, 'okay well can we physically do it?'
"The guys at Zandvoort went off, spoke to a few people and came back and said: 'Yeah, we can do it, we think we can do it, and we'd be very interested in doing it.'
"So we had conversations with the FIA to say 'look, this is what we're thinking, are you okay with that?' They said let's go through the numbers, let's look at what else is involved.
"As a process, we were getting all the right people together and we were able to actually come up with a solution – and a fairly unique solution to that situation."
For the return of Zandvoort in the Formula 1 calendar, a restyling, that involved more the infrastructures than the track, was necessary, to ensure the high quality and safety standards.
There will be two DRS zones despite the straight sections being really short. In addition to the starting one, also on the return straight, and not in the last corner, therefore, it will be possible to open the wing, a possibility that, however minimal, will allow the drivers to approach the car in front and then be able to think about a real overtake at the end of the straight.