Max Verstappen to lose Dutch GP

Red Bull racer Max Verstappen could face a blow as the Dutch GP may be getting axed from the F1 calendar.

The dominant F1 star Max Verstappen could see his native GP at the Zandvoort Circuit, Netherlands, be stripped away.

The Zandvoort has a long, storied history in F1, hosting races since the early ’50s and becoming a permanent fixture from 1958 onwards.

The track has “stunning” visuals as well as a raucous weekend race atmosphere brought by the ‘Orange Army’ of Dutch F1 fans.

However, Formula One is considering dropping the prestigious Zandvoort Circuit from its calendar, as competition for spots grows.

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Dutch Grand Prix sporting director Jans Lammers said: “Formula 1 Management knows what they want and we know what we want.

“If you see countries like Saudi Arabia committing to their Grand Prix for 900 million for ten years, we can’t take on that kind of competition.”

This revelation comes ahead of the 2023 Dutch GP this weekend, where Verstappen and Red Bull are expected to continue their winning streak.

Verstappen could equal the record of nine consecutive wins set by Sebastian Vettel if he is victorious.

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So it may come as a surprise to many that the current world champion’s home fixture is under threat.

However, the Zandvoort does have a chequered past.

A combination of noise pollution and outdated facilities saw its last 20th-century race take place in 1985.

It was, in fact, the rise of Max Verstappen as an F1 great that saw the Zandvoort’s return in 2021.

The Dutch GP returned in style, with seas of orange-wearing fans and smoke flares contributing to a vibrant atmosphere.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has praised the track in the past, highlighting it as an example of how live racing should be done.

He said: “I want to congratulate the Dutch promoter because, without disrespect to anyone, they brought a great fresh air to the European community.

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“Despite the small track, and despite the old facilities, they brought a new way of having an incredible event.

“In terms of passionate people, in terms of sense of community, in terms of entertainment, in terms of music and in terms of energy.

“It was something really spectacular. And it has been an example that has been used in other places immediately.”