Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort: back to the golden F1 age before a new era dawns

Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort: back to the golden F1 age before a new era dawns

In 2020, Formula 1 will return to Zandvoort – an event that the whole of the Netherlands is eagerly awaiting. But before the dunes will see orange with Max Verstappen fans we’ll be celebrating the golden age of the Dutch Grand Prix until 1985, the last time Formula 1 came to the Netherlands. As has become customary, the Historic Grand Prix does so with the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship, the official championship for pre-85 F1 cars.

Stewart and Fittipaldi, Hunt and Lauda, Andretti and Scheckter, Piquet and Jones, Senna and Prost – all legendary duos who in the seventies and eighties treated the Dutch crowd to one epic Dutch Grand Prix after another. Those glory times will revive with the annual highlight of the Historic Grand Prix – the two races of the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship.

The official FIA championship for F1 cars from 1966 to 1985 will again come to town this year, a visit that will evoke more nostalgia than ever as the next F1 race at Zandvoort won’t be historic! After 35 years of absence, modern-day F1 cars will return to the dunes in the spring of 2020, but before the orange legion will cheer on Max Verstappen we will first go back in time to the years in which the Dutch supported Gijs van Lennep, Michael Bleekemolen and Jan Lammers – even through their heroes didn’t quite have that winning car…

The historic September races promise a nice mix of winners and also-rans from the past. Matteo Ferrer-Aza’s Ligier JS11/15 won three GPs in 1979 and in the hands of the Italian has already won three times this year. Then there’s Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C – the Irishman won last season’s final race, but the car also won the 1981 constructors’ title. The FW07C’s main competitor will also be present, Christophe d’Ansembourg taking along the Brabham BT49C, the car that Nelson Piquet used to win the world championship in 1981.

The three of them are going to face strong competition from the Tyrrell 012, a car that back in 1983 only finished on the podium once – in the last non-championship race ever, the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, with Danny Sullivan. Now, the Tyrrell is found right at the front thanks to skilful veteran Martin Stretton already winning twice this year. Another podium candidate is the Tyrrell from the year before, Jamie Constable showing well this season in the 1982 011 in its resplendent dark green Denim Musk colours.

Also present are two examples – two orange Jägermeister-liveried ones in fact – of the design that won a Grand Pix in 1976 in the hands of Ronnie Peterson but failed to qualify in the hands of Dutchman Michael Bleekemolen in 1977 – the March 761. Henry Fletcher and Paul Grant each bring one. Their main opponent in the pre-78 class will be Jason Wright’s , the white Shadow in which Riccardo Patrese made his debut at the time.

Enthusiasts with a keen eye for back-of-the-grid minnows will also get their money’s worth with the March 811 and the Theodore N183. The March was designed along Williams FW07 lines by none other than Adrian Reynard, but it failed to perform due to lack of funds. The Theodore was actually an Ensign, taken over from Mo Nunn when his Ensign team folded and run by Hong Kong entrepreneur Teddy Yip sponsored by Colombian coffee money. They appear at Zandvoort thanks to Vincent Rivet and Georg Hallau respectively.

The most interesting example of a failed F1 design is undoubtedly the Merzario A3, a car that at the time never managed to qualify and still looks as if its days are numbered. Nevertheless, its current owner Bruno Ferrari takes it to places it has never been in time. So join the experience, as this year’s historic F1 field offers something for everyone.

Historic Grand Prix 2019
This year’s Historic Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit will take place on 6, 7 and 8 September. Free practice and qualifying are on Friday and Saturday, the races take place on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday evening 7 September will see a parade through the town centre of Zandvoort.

A pre-sale day ticket for the General Admission area is just € 18,99 (32,50 euros for three days). A paddock ticket, which includes access to the main grandstand and the General Admission area, is 32,50 euros (day ticket) or 55 euros (three days). Children up to 4 have free access. Also, the exclusive Paddock Club will allow you to experience the Historic Grand Prix at VIP level.