The Zandvoort circuit is set to extend its pitlane in time for next year’s Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix with six extra garages to be added as part of the renovations.
The tight and narrow pitlane had long been regarded as a compromise in bringing F1 back to the Netherlands, with the small main paddock also a limiting factor.
The Zandvoort circuit owners hope the work carried out on the pitlane will not only rectify existing issues but also prepare the circuit for a potentially expanded F1 grid.
Over the course of the recent Dutch Grand Prix weekend, the FIA allowed drivers to restart behind the Safety Car on the Intermediate tyre, rather than mandating extreme Wets, in an effort to avoid chaos in the event that almost all drivers chose to pit at the same time.
With all drivers starting on the slicks for Sunday’s race, most teams opted to not double stack their cars on the opening lap due to spatial restrictions in the pitlane.
AlphaTauri were the exception, however, with debutant Liam Lawson handed a 10-second time penalty for blocking Kevin Magnussen in the box.
“We could do with more space to just allow for a bit more safety and also for the pit stops so there’s just more working space,” Jan Lammers, the Dutch GP sporting director and Le Mans winner told Autosport.
“In view of that we will have an extension of the pit garages and pit lane next year, so towards the Tarzan corner, Turn 1, we will have an extension of six boxes.
“Should the F1 field of 20 cars ever extend to 22 we are also ready for it. But for this moment, the primary reason is safety and space.”
The new garages are to cross over the entrance of a pedestrian tunnel which passes under the main straight. Lammers confirmed that this will also have to be re-routed and extended as part of the work.
“We can just design the tunnel in a different way. We can still maximise that space, that should work. Where the exit is now is exactly where those extra garages will be,” he added.
“We will just make the tunnel a little bit longer, and then there won’t be an ‘L’ exit, there will be a straight exit.”
“The pitlane is just the next stage of the development, so there’s a lot more plans for the future. And generally we improve where we can improve, and we will adapt where we have to adapt.”