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More space and security – changes are coming to Zandvoort

More space and security – changes are coming to Zandvoort

And at Circuit Zandvoort, home of the Dutch Grand Prix, work on expanding the pit lane will begin soon, with the aim being to expand the facility with six more garages ahead of the 2024 race.

Although news of the return of the Dutch Grand Prix was welcomed by the majority, since Zandvoort is a classic site back on the schedule, many people expressed concerns about the pit lane even before the official announcement. The circuit is very small, the pit lane itself is very narrow and there is not enough garage to spend the weekends ‘comfortably’.

This issue was also a topic of conversation during the 2023 weekend, in fact the FIA ​​dealt with it as well, allowing during the race to “go off” the field in the middle section of the track after the safety car phase, thus avoiding “chaotic mass wheel changes”.

Teams also tried to find a solution: to avoid chaos, most decided not to do double-stops, that is, their drivers taking out the intermediate tires in two consecutive laps, after the sky split up halfway through. The first lap. Only one team has achieved a brace, Alpha Tauri, whose New Zealand rider Liam Lawson was eventually penalized for fouling Kevin Magnussen.

Although not directly related to the race, it was also stated that due to the narrow pit lane at Zandvoort, filming of the Apple F1 could only continue to a limited extent. The fictitious APX GP team featured in the film had its own garages in several locations, which was difficult to do in the case of the Dutch facility.

Photo: XPB

The good news for the teams is that the organizers have decided to widen the pit lane and build more garages next year. They are confident that this will not only increase safety, but also secure the future of the event, as well as prepare for potential expansion in this area.

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“What we can do is improve security a little bit by providing more places and leaving a little bit more space.” – began the athletic director of the track Jan Lammers. “Next year, we’re going to expand the pit lane, so we can add six garages as we move toward Tarzan, at every turn. If Formula 1’s 20-car space expands to 22 cars, we must also be ready. But the main reason now is safety and getting more space. he added.

The biggest challenge during construction will be that the area for the new garages touches the exit of the pedestrian tunnel under the finish line, so it will also have to be converted and expanded. “The tunnel could be designed in another way. We can make the most of the space, the thing has to work. The extra garages will be in place of the exit now. We’ll just extend it a little bit, and then there will be no L exit, just a straight exit.”

Finally, he confirmed that they will continuously upgrade their facilities in the coming years. “We are gradually developing. We have repaired the roads, they are asphalted again, and they are ready. The pit street is the next stage of development, and we still have many plans for the future. We are developing where we have the opportunity. We are adapting where we need to adapt.” – concluded the former Formula 1 driver, who indicated before the weekend that he was a little worried about the future of the Dutch Grand Prix, as it is difficult to keep up with the new multi-billion-dollar venue. It seems they have risen to the challenge now after all.

Photo: XPB

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