Zandvoort’s race against time: Contract talks to seal F1 fate

The continuation of the Formula 1 race at Zandvoort post-2025 remains uncertain despite its popularity and strong association with Dutch driver Max Verstappen. Zandvoort circuit’s head, Robert van Overdijk, discussed on ZFM Zandvoort radio the ongoing upgrades to modernize the facility, highlighting the essential improvements to the pitlane and garages to meet current F1 standards. “That was necessary,” van Overdijk conceded. He recalled an incident where Carlos Sainz’s car ran over a wheel-gun, exposing the pitlane’s inadequacies: “I remember when Carlos Sainz drove over a wheel-gun and it suddenly became clear – the pitlane is too tight.”

The necessity for these upgrades was underscored by mandates from Formula One Management (FOM) and the International Automobile Federation (FIA), who stipulated, “FOM and the FIA said ‘If you want to continue, you have to do something about it.'”

Despite these efforts, the future of the Dutch Grand Prix is shrouded in uncertainty, with the current contract set to expire in 2025. Van Overdijk revealed that negotiations for extension are actively underway, though he tempered expectations by noting the circuit’s financial and logistical realities: “We are not an oil state, where contracts can be extended for ten or 12 years. We need a few more months before we can make this decision.”

He remained optimistic about the circuit’s future in F1, indicating the mutual interest in continuing the relationship: “But it is clear that FOM would like to continue coming here, and you don’t make these kinds of investments for the short term.” The dialogue between Zandvoort and F1’s governing bodies continues, with the hope of ensuring the Dutch Grand Prix’s place on the racing calendar beyond 2025.

GMM

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