And... it is going to happen... again. If paranoid posters dig in archives, they will find that Nemo1965, practically born in Zandvoort (my parents lived there, I was born in a hospital in Amsterdam), was very skeptical this new GP at Zandvoort was going to happen at all the first time, and I only believed it when it was actually was happening. Then Nemo1965 could not imagine Max not succumbing to the HUGE pressure (if you are not Dutch and not a Max-fan blinded by the light, you can not imagine what pressure there was) and flunking either his qualifying (he did not), his race (he did not). Then, after the race, said person thought ‘Enjoy it, Max Fanboys, because I am not sure there will be another Dutch GP next year.’ Aaaaaaand… wrong again.
So after eating humble pie several times in a row, noblesse oblige... and I feel obliged to write my first opening thread for a race. It is perhaps superflous to mention that this was the first time a Dutch F1-driver put a car on pole at his own race, scored a podium there, win the bloody thing. So many firsts.
But Zandvoort historically had a lot of firsts… and a lot of last things, also. If I forget some memorable things, please enlighten me. Here’s what I know:
1975: First win for James Hunt (and only win for the Hesketh F1-team), by virtue of a smart pitstop. Dutch driver Gijs van Lennep, by the way, finish 10th in that race. Read here for a nice back-story, told by the man himself.
1967: Jim Clark gave the first victory, in the back of the ground-breaking Lotus 49, to the Ford Cosworth V8, arguably the best F1-engine ever. Not in power, but in accessibility and affordability. It can not be repeated enough that this engine was developed with and for the Lotus-team… and that Colin Chapman could have ‘hawked’ this engine for himself… meaning that Lotus could have had a Mercedes-like engine-advantage for say, ten years. But Chapman urged Ford to bring the Cossy to the open market. Which opened the way for many other teams and drivers to show their true worth.
1962: Carel Godin de Beaufort became the first Dutch driver to score world-championship points, by finishing 6th at his home-race. The squire died at the Nurburgring in 1965, my birth year. My parents knew Carel quite well, a shame I never could have met him.
1959: The first (and only victory) of Jo Bonnier, in the BRM. He also scored pole-position for this race, so that was not a fluke. Jo died at Le Mans, in 1972.
1952: Dries van der Lof became the first Dutchman to start in a F1-race, together with Dries Flinterman - who got into the race by a crowd-funding avant la lettre.
1949: The first GP at Zandvoort outright was won by Prince Bira (Thailand) in a Maserati. Probably the first and last GP won by royalty?
And there are some notable last events:
1985: Last win for Niki Lauda, in a blood-curling finish ahead of his teammate Alain Prost, who would win the championship that year. Lauda won the race at Zandvoort three times, by the way. One less than the record holder. (Jacky Stewart also had three wins at Zandvoort. (In that duel Dutch driver Huub Rothengatter had a nice cameo, in that he hindered Prost just enough to thwart an overtake when both McLaren-drivers lapped him).
1982: Last win for Didier Pironi, who was destined to win the worldchampionship that year
but he died in a totally unnecessary accident in the rain at Hockenheim. Last home GP for Jan Lammers, also, in the Theodore.
1978: Last win for Mario Andretti, in the famous 1-2 with his teammate Ronnie Peterson sticking to his tailpipe for most of the race (the only time this happened that year, actually, but the myth became every race for the Lotus-cars in 1978 was like this. Really, that was not the case.
1967: Already mentioned, but Jim Clark won for the fourth time at Zandvoort and this was his last time there. A record number of wins there, thus. I am very doubtful Verstappen will get the chance to break that record, but like I mentioned at the beginning of this post: I've been wrong before about Zandvoort and so forth... )
The old track had some very notable accidents. Many drivers admitted to be wary of the infamous Tarzan-corner. Jacques Laffite admitted he always braked on the inside of the corner, so that IF something went wrong, he would have room to play around before he crashed. Other drivers did not always take that safety measure. John Watson had a colossal off in 1980, Daly had a spectacular accident that same year and in 1982 Rene Arnoux lost a front wheel when he braked for Tarzan… not a nice thing.
Not so pleasant incidents, and actually none at the scary Tarzan-corner:
Zandvoort has also had some very nasty, controversial and deadly moments. Chris Lambert died in a F3-accident, after touching wheels with Clay Regazzoni. Chris' father felt that Regazzoni had caused his son's death and attempted to get Regazzoni prosecuted or banned. Finally, on November 14th 1971, over three years from the date of the accident an official report was published by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. It stated that Regazzoni was guilty of "a mistake in appreciation, but not of serious negligence". The report went on to say that the "audacity" of a driver was impossible to monitor. Implying that it was probably not the best place to make that overtaking manoeuvre. (Source: https://www.historicracing.com/driverDetail.cfm?driverID=3292)
Dan Guerney had (arguably) his worst accident of his career at Zandvoort, he got only some light wounds (I assume, because there is a picture where he's walking away from the accident). One young spectator died in the accident.
In 1970 Piers Courage died in a fiery accident, an event for which the safety-measures of the track got a lot of serious flak. The track was renewed, renovated, new safety-measures were put in place… and in 1973 Roger Williamson crashed and flipped his car (because a puncture, I believe). It burst out in flames, and Williamson could not get out. Millions of tv-viewers then saw fellow driver David Purley try to save Williamson’s life. The fire-marshals did not dare to get near to the burning car, the fire-truck was not allowed to drive against the traffic, the race was not red-flagged, apparently because most present believed (other F1-drivers, the tv-pundits) that the driver was out of the car (they thought it was Purley). Nemo1965 actually believes that this accident was the cause that so many Dutch journalists resented F1-racing for a long time and were very hostile to it. Certainly this accident led to more safety measure put in place, not only in Zandvoort, but at all races.
And now the past has shone it not always pleasant light, what can we expect for 2022? I think this might be the last track for Ferrari to try to hit a dent into Verstappens and Red Bull's armour. The new Zandvoort-track is very tight, not very scary any more (in the eyes of Nemo1965, who drove there calmly himself and was driven maniacally around the old track). It should suit the Ferrari’s best… and I think that the Dutch fans would not even be rioting would Max be beaten for once. Traffic will be tight, but last year bikes, trains and busses were excellent alternatives. I would not dare to thread there, but if you can stand crowds, everything will be fine.
PS: I had pictures for every paragraph, but I can't seem to post them.
PPS:And if another poster would like to add what the tire-allocation will be, ditto. I could not be bothered to know, I'll find out when the cars roll out on the grid, Sunday. Have fun!
Edited by Nemo1965, 29 August 2022 - 18:00.