Zandvoort will keep 'heritage' gravel traps for 2020 F1 return

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Zandvoort will not be replacing their notorious gravel traps with run-off areas for the return of the 2020 Dutch Grand Prix.

As the old-school venue prepares to host Formula 1 for the first time in 35 years, there was a concern that the number of high-speed corners would see the gravel replaced with tarmac for safety reasons.

However, with Italian company Dromo Circuit Design in charge of overseeing the circuit tweaks rather than F1's normal architect Hermann Tilke, they have vowed to keep as much of Zandvoort's "heritage" as possible.

“Our job is to upgrade the circuit to the required Formula 1 standards,” said Dromo chief Jarno Zafelli was quoted by

“Together with Zandvoort, the FIA, FOM and the drivers, we are now fully involved in the process to see how we can best adjust the track.

“Some changes will be visible, some will not. It’s about details. The main goal is to keep the circuit as a classic circuit. I’m really not going to destroy the structure and heritage of Zandvoort.”

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While track widths and cambers are likely to be main changes, specifically on the issue of the gravel traps, Zafelli revealed it had been a desire of F1 to keep as many as possible.

“FOM requested it because of the heritage of the track, the track [owners] asked for it and as you know we are more than happy to have gravel instead of asphalt if we think that it is not necessary," he told RaceFans.

The issue of track limits once again became a talking point after the recent Austrian GP, where high kerbs and gravel caught out many drivers.

“It is the old debate, some drivers want that, some don’t,” Renault's Nico Hulkenberg commented.

“We need to have boundaries and operate and stay in those boundaries. If not, we need to get penalized for it, but strictly and consistent.

“Some corners would be better if off-line you do pay a price. In Austria I ran off line and smashed my car up – there was a big price.

“At Paul Ricard, nothing happens when you run off there. It is always a trade between what MotoGP wants, what F1 wants, it is difficult and it is what it is.”