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HomeUncategorizedEXCLUSIVE: Zandvoort trialling 'fake' gravel trap solution for F1 Dutch Grand Prix

EXCLUSIVE: Zandvoort trialling 'fake' gravel trap solution for F1 Dutch Grand Prix

As shown in exclusive images from, the idea has been incorporated at Turn 12 – the second part of the Hans Ernst Corner.

Problems at last year’s GP Grand Prix prompted it to drive extensively across the curb there, dragging gravel onto the track – causing danger in support events – like DeWalt chose to try something unique.

To avoid asphalt runoff, race organizers created a special one-meter-wide area behind the curb of Turn 12, where the gravel is wrapped in resinous material. This makes it look like gravel, but is actually completely solid.

Zandvoort gravel trap

Zandvoort Gravel Trap

Photo by Jon Noble

This means that riders run a little farther around corners without disturbing the stones, so it should help significantly reduce any gravel being pulled onto the racing line , which may prompt a red flag.

The smooth and bumpy nature of this solid area also means it will provide minimal grip, so drivers will be intimidated from trying to abuse it and get too close to real gravel.

Behind this “fake gravel” is the normal gravel trap that will slow down any car that goes off the line smoothly.

Dutch GP sporting director Jan Lammers believes that the Zandvoort solution could be adopted on other circuits if it proves successful this time.

“To keep the gravel out of the track, they make the first meter look like gravel – but it’s actually a bit like a tarmac,” he said at a preview event with title sponsor Heineken on Wednesday .

“You can’t really use it: it’s too slippery and bumpy for the car. But at least it avoids all kinds of debris on the track, so for other tracks it’s a Well developed.”

  • New F1 DRS area will allow Zandvoort Banking to “white knuckle” with Zandvoort Bank in Dutch GP FP1 “RideMax Verstappen goes through Turn 12 at least year's Dutch GP, when the gravel trap extended to the kerbs.
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      Zandvoort gravel trap
  • Zandvoort gravel trap Zandvoort gravel trap

    Zandvoort Gravel Trap

    Photo by Jon Noble

    From the outset, the leaders of the Dutch Grand Prix have been eager to keep the traditional gravel traps on the track and not replace them with asphalt sections.

    McLaren’s Lando Norris said Wednesday adding to the challenge at Zandvoort as drivers know there is no room for error.

    “One good thing here, I guess a lot of riders like, no runoff,” he said. “It’s gravel, and then the barrier.

    ” We hate that too, because you don’t want to be in the gravel, and you don’t want to be in the barrier, but at the same time, the driver takes more risk: Whoever wants to take a bigger risk to get up to speed and get a lap time can do it.

    “So things like this are also enjoyable for the track and more of a track for drivers who can take the most risk.”

    F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali believes gravel traps are something the sport needs to keep – as they help to better define track limits.

    “I do agree with what Lando said,” he said. “You saw what happened at Spa at Turn 1. It was all tarmac and everyone on the first turn was out [off the track]. It’s not what I personally like.

    “There is a limit on certain obstacle courses, you have to take it easy or you will crash. Gravel is also a limitation, so there’s not even a discussion of track limitations to judge whether you’re on or you’re out. “

    Max Verstappen had at least 12 years at the Dutch Grand Prix when the gravel traps extended to the curb.

    Photo by Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images



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