After a 33-year absence, the Dutch Grand Prix could be prepared to make its return to the Formula 1 schedule.
With a move to the Netherlands, Formula 1 is looking to capitalize on the popularity of Max Verstappen.
Its return could come as early as 2020, with Zandvoort and Assen as the frontrunners among venues. The last Dutch GP was run in 1985 when only 16 races were on the schedule. Niki Lauda beat McLaren teammate Alain Prost in that event.
The 2020 season is the same year F1 is set for the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix.
Currently with 21 races on the calendar, the new owner Liberty Media has made no secret of its willingness to expand in the coming years – increasing the number of events by adding new markets and reintroducing historic events like the Dutch GP.
“We expect to expand our calendar beyond our current 21-race schedule,” Sean Bratches said at SpeedCafe.com.
“We expect to replace a few existing races where we inherited unattractive agreements with new events or agreements that are better for racing and provide more value,” Bratches added.
Bobby Rahal has driven in some of the biggest races in the world, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 Hours and, of course, winning the Indianapolis 500 as a driver in 1986 and in 2004 as a team owner.
But winning the 12 Hours of Sebring two years in a row (1987 and 1988), Rahal feels, is right up there in terms of his greatest accomplishments as a race car driver.
As IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary, Rahal reflected on what racing at Sebring International Raceway has meant to him:
“To me, Sebring is the ultimate endurance race. Not as long as Daytona or Le Mans, but the demands put on a car and driver at Sebring are highly unusual.
“My father raced at Sebring in the late 60’s. To win that race two years in a row really meant something to me.
“While we’ve won a lot of other races, we’ve won just about everywhere, you name it. But for me personally, winning at Sebring those two years in a row was very special.”