Zandvoort upgrade hits key milestone for FIA Grade 1 safety standard

The Zandvoort circuit, which will host the return of the Dutch Grand Prix to the 2020 Formula 1 calendar, hit a key milestone as it seeks FIA Grade 1 safety approval.

While there's still plenty to be done before the grand prix, most of the circuit has now been reconstructed and is awaiting a fresh layer of asphalt, but a key step in hitting the safety standards expected of a modern circuit is the installation of safety barriers and fencing.

This task is being carried out by Geobrugg, a Swiss company that claims to be the only permanent debris fence manufacturer that meets the latest FIA homologation tests.

Gebrugg has had to take into account the new banked corner which has an incline of 18-degress, which means the top of the track will be 4.5 meters higher than the bottom, plus Turn 3 which is also banked to allow two cars to run side-by-side.

The first designs for the debris fence installation were created in October, which gave Geobrugg four weeks to produce the layout for construction, manufacture, and ship the material for installation in December.

More than 4,300 meteres of fencing is required to attain Grade 1

In total around 3,400 meters of permanent debris fences, 900 meters of mobile debris fences, and around 600 meters of concrete barriers will be installed across the circuit following the laying of new track asphalt in the coming weeks.

Jarno Zaffelli, founder and designer at Dromo Circuit Design which is leading the redevelopment, said the design flexibility of Geobrugg’s debris fences is enabling them to work to the tight schedules required by F1 to get the circuit operational by designated deadlines.

"The combination of skill and capability that Geobrugg provide, the timing and the reliability they have, and a product that can be adapted very quickly if the F1 requires it, gives us the confidence to use their solutions."

Jochen Braunwarth, Director of Motorsport Solutions at Geobrugg, added: "With several companies working at the same time at full speed trying to complete the circuit upgrades, we are pleased that Geobrugg’s debris fences can provide Zandvoort with the flexibility it requires to get everything ready for the circuit to be operational."

Zandvoort joins the growing list of F1 circuits that use Geobrugg’s homologated debris fences worldwide, including Circuit of the Americas, Singapore, Monaco, Red Bull Ring, Spa-Francorchamps, Paul Ricard, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, and Sochi Autodrom.