Max Verstappen and his adoring Dutch fans will finally have a home grand prix after Formula One announced the Circuit Zandvoort would be returning to the calendar for the first time since 1985.
Starting in 2020, it will be the 31st Dutch Grand Prix as part of a world championship season and will run for at least three years.
In May last year, an exhibition event with Verstappen and other Red Bull drivers at Zandvoort attracted more than 110,000 fans.
“From the beginning of our tenure in Formula 1, we (Liberty Media) said we wanted to race in new venues, while also respecting the sport’s historic roots in Europe,” said Chase Carey, Formula One’s chairman and CEO.
“In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest in Formula One in Holland, mainly due to the enthusiastic support for the talented Max Verstappen, as seen from the sea of orange at so many races. No doubt this will be the dominant color in the Zandvoort grandstands next year.”
Although born and raised in Belgium and now living in Monaco, there was never any doubt Verstappen would eventually race under the Dutch flag.
The 21-year-old has become so popular, he now has his very own “Max Verstappen Stand” at race venues in Belgium, Austria, Hungary and Germany, where thousands of orange-clad and beer-swigging Dutch fans come to sing and cheer on their countryman.
In the 2017 season, more than 60,000 Orange fans traveled to Belgium to see Verstappen race at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Dutch Grand Prix was held at Circuit Zandvoort, located in the seaside resort of Zandvoort, west of Amsterdam, between 1952 and 1985.
Two-time world champion Jim Clark holds the record for Dutch Grand Prix wins with four.
“It is a circuit with a long and impressive history of competition and is a great challenge for drivers, and with the popularity of Max Verstappen I’m sure there will be a huge number of fans in attendance,” said Jean Todt, president of motorsport’s governing body the FIA.
“There is now a lot of preparation needed to bring the circuit up to the required safety standards to host a Formula 1 race, and we will work towards this together with Formula 1, KNAF – the Dutch autosport federation – and the circuit organization.”