Motorsport Week  |    |   9  |  8 April 2019

Formula 1 set for 2020 Dutch Grand Prix return

The Dutch Grand Prix is set to return to Formula 1 in 2020 after a five-year deal was reached with officials at Zandvoort.

Formula 1 chiefs have been exploring the feasibility of a return to the Netherlands in the past few years, fuelled by the rise of national hero Max Verstappen.

Motorsport Week understands that the deal, which should be announced next week, will be for five years.

The Dutch Grand Prix dates back 71 years to 1948 and became a round of the World Championship in 1952, but fell off the calendar due to finances in the mid-1980s.

The date of the race is not yet known but it is likely to be in the spring, to avoid a clash with the Belgian Grand Prix, which is also attended by a large number of Dutch spectators due to its close proximity to the Netherlands.

It could replace the Spanish Grand Prix if no deal is struck with organisers of the Barcelona race, which is struggling to agree a new contract with Liberty Media owing to recent state cutbacks and the departure of Fernando Alonso from a race seat.

Last week Zandvoort got the go-ahead to host the race from the local government, plus €4 million in financial support through increased Tourism Tax, which is being used to upgrade the local transport links.

The race could see the F1 calendar grow to a record 23 races in 2020 with the addition of the already-confirmed Vietnam GP, which will be held on April 19, though several events have doubts over their respective futures.

These include grands prix in Spain, as already mentioned, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the United States and Britain.

Motorsport Week nonetheless understands that Liberty Media and Silverstone are edging closer to a deal that would result in the British Grand Prix remaining at the venue that hosted Formula 1's inaugural World Championship event in 1950.

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