7 things you may not know about the Dutch Grand Prix
After a 36-year absence, the Dutch Grand Prix returned to the Formula 1 calendar last year. But how much do you know about this historic event at Circuit Zandvoort? We’ve compiled some of the most interesting facts.
The first race at Zandvoort was won by a Thai Prince
Prince Bira of Siam won the first Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort in 1948. A member of the Thai royal family, he was also an accomplished pilot who flew his own plane from Bangkok to London and also competed in sailing events at four Olympic Games. Prince Bira was the only Thai driver to have competed in Formula 1 until Alexander Albon joined the grid in 2019.
Jim Clark holds several records that will take some beating
Jim Clark holds the record for most Dutch Grand Prix victories. The Scottish driver won four times at Zandvoort (1963, 1964, 1965 and 1967) before his untimely death in a Formula 2 event at the Hockenheimring in 1968, aged 32. Clark also holds the record for the most number of laps led at Zandvoort (370), more than double any other driver.
James Hunt won his first race here
The 1975 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort saw James Hunt score his maiden Grand Prix win after a giant-killing performance in changeable conditions. Driving for the unfancied Hesketh team, Hunt made an early pit stop for slick tyres as the wet track began to dry and took the lead on Lap 15. Hunt held off the pursuing Ferrari of Niki Lauda for the final part of the race, crossing the line just one second ahead. It was Hesketh’s first and only Formula 1 victory.
...and Niki Lauda scored his final F1 win here
Niki Lauda won the last Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in 1985 from tenth on the grid after holding off a sustained late-race challenge by his McLaren teammate, Alain Prost. It was the 3-time World Champion’s 25th and final Grand Prix Victory before retiring at the end of the season. Lauda won three times at Zandvoort (1974, 1977 & 1985) and sits equal second on the all-time Dutch Grand Prix winners’ list with Jackie Stewart.
Max Verstappen is the only driver from The Netherlands to have won an F1 race
At the age of 24, Max Verstappen is already the most successful Formula 1 driver, and only World Champion, from The Netherlands. Of the sixteen Dutch drivers to have raced in F1, Max Verstappen is the only one to have won a race. Max followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming an F1 driver; Jos Verstappen scored two podiums in 1994 when he was Michael Schumacher's teammate at Benetton. Another notable driver from The Netherlands is Jan Lammers, who competed in several F1 races at Zandvoort (as well as winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans), and now holds the title of Sporting Director for the Dutch Grand Prix.
The final corner banking is twice as steep as the Indianapolis Speedway
The final corner at Zandvoort, which was comprehensively redesigned with steep banking ahead of the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix, is named after Arie Luyendyk. The Dutch driver never competed in Formula 1, but enjoyed considerable success in the USA, winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1985 and 1990. At 18%, the banking on the final Arie Luyendykbocht corner at Zandvoort is twice as steep as the banking at the Indianapolis Speedway.
There have been few multiple winners at Zandvoort
In 31 grands prix at Circuit Zandvoort, only two drivers have won here more than twice. On two separate occasions in history, this famous circuit has seen a run of eight different winners in as many races. Between 1953-1963, Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jo Bonnier, Jack Brabham, Wolfgang von Trips, Graham Hill, and Jim Clark all tasted victory here. 13 years later, the same sequence began again. Between 1976-1982, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Mario Andretti, Alan Jones, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, Didier Pironi, and René Arnoux were all winners at Zandvoort.