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Zandvoort boss hints at spectacular change for 2022 Dutch GP

A banked DRS zone could be a new feature of the Dutch Grand Prix in 2022, Zandvoort's Director, Robert van Overdijk, has explained to RacingNews365.com.

Formula 1 drivers are in for a unique experience at this year's Dutch Grand Prix, providing the Zandvoort track gets the go-ahead with intended DRS tweaks. Having previously dropped off the F1 calendar in the mid-1980s, the tight and twisty venue returned for the 2021 season following major renovation work. In bold plans, one of the two DRS zones was initially set to include the final banked turn - named after Dutch motorsport legend Arie Luyendyk - only for the FIA to take a more cautious approach. Instead, the second DRS zone began after the last corner, with the first being placed on the short straight between Turns 10 and 11.

More overtaking opportunities at Zandvoort?

However, Zandvoort boss Robert van Overdijk has expressed hope that the original plan for the second DRS zone will get the FIA's backing this time out. "That was the plan last year, but [former Race Director] Michael Masi opted not to do it, because there hadn't been any F1 racing on the track before," he told RacingNews365.com in an exclusive interview. "Of course, he's not there now, but last year he saw during the weekend that it could have been fine, so we assume that the DRS zone as it was initially intended will be there this year." It remains to be seen whether new Race Directors Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas - sharing the role in 2022 - will permit the extended zone. But whatever the decision, van Overdijk expects overtaking to be possible with F1's 2022-spec cars around the 4.259-kilometre circuit. "A few years ago, with the other cars, it was the discussion – then you really needed a DRS zone," he said. "Nowadays, tyre management has become so important that you can still overtake if you have tyres that are a few laps younger than the driver in front of you, even without DRS."

Zandvoort boss enjoying "much more fun" racing

With F1's new cars and a title battle involving home hero Max Verstappen, van Overdijk is excited about the second edition of the revamped event. "You can see this year that racing has become much more fun," he added, referencing the wide-ranging technical changes. "That's also good for Zandvoort. Anything that benefits the racing is good for the sport and the spectators. "Whether the drivers like it more or less... I have a simpler attitude: they just have to work. It's Sunday and they go to work, they go racing. "The fact that so many people want to watch the sport, that's how drivers get the right to do what they love."

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