Historical Zandvoort is back. A long absence, started in 1985 and extended in 2020, when Covid saw the race cancelled, is finally over as Formula One returns to the Netherlands. Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN approaches the second stage of this European triple-header ready for action, after the disappointment of the washed-out Belgian Grand Prix.
Zandvoort is a place rich of history: a traditional venue for the European tour of races, a place where prestigious pages in our sport's books were written. The original track may be gone, but the legacy lives on in the new layout, which incorporates many of the original corners - including the fantastically named Tarzanbocht, a banked turn that provides one of the most spectacular overtaking spots in the lap.
The team will hope for a better weekend than last: already having a race would be a step forward. A new track provides opportunities and Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN will need to be ready to make the most of them. From the first moment on track, on Friday, to the chequered flag on Sunday, every second will be crucial for the success of the weekend.
The Dutch Grand Prix is back: now it's time for the team to seize the moment.
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "I am looking forward to the next round of the championship: we all owe it to the fans to put up a great show and a new track, in the shape of Zandvoort, is just what we may need for a spectacular race. Even though it's not a complete new circuit for Formula One, it is so for modern cars and this could create some unpredictability. Whatever happens this weekend, we need to be ready and make the most of any opportunity."
Kimi Raikkonen: "It's always interesting to drive on a new circuit, especially one that is based on an old-school track like Zandvoort. It's too early to say how the racing will be or what the track will feel like, but that means we will need to make the most of the Friday sessions to make sure we arrive to qualifying in as ready a state as possible. Except for learning the track, the weekend is pretty much like any other so I am not expecting any big surprises."
Antonio Giovinazzi: "Zandvoort is a place with some really good memories from me: I had a really strong weekend there in 2015, when I was in F3 - I won the first race and finished second in the other two - and later in the year I won the Masters of F3 there. That was the last time I raced in the Netherlands and it's definitely a nice result to look back to. This weekend will be a whole different story, it's a regular weekend with the added challenge of having to learn the circuit in this car. We need to be ready and optimise what we have to try and get a good result. It would be a great boost ahead of Monza."