Formula 1 back to the Netherlands after 35 years

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Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives during the qualifying session for the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, east China, April 8, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Dutch Grand Prix returns to the Formula one World Championship from 2020 in Zandvoort for at least three years, the F1 organization FOM and the municipality of Zandvoort announced during a press conference in Zandvoort on Tuesday.

Zandvoort is a coastal city in the province of North Holland. The circuit is situated in the dunes near the North Sea. The circuit has a long F1 history, with the first race held in 1952, but the last race was staged in 1985. With the emergence of Red Bull rider Max Verstappen, F1 in the Netherlands gained much popularity.

"In recent years, we've seen a resurgence of interest in Formula 1 in Holland, mainly due to the enthusiastic support for the talented Max Verstappen, as seen from the sea of orange at so many races," Chase Carey, chairman and CEO of the Formula 1, said during a press conference in Zandvoort. "No doubt this will be the dominant color in the Zandvoort grandstands next year."

"The Zandvoort Circuit is legendary and known worldwide and we're delighted to see it host a round of the Formula One World Championship once again," said former Dutch Formula 1 driver Jan Lammers, sporting director of the Dutch Grand Prix.

To get the circuit ready for next year's race, the 31st Dutch Grand Prix, the facility will be rebuilt with help from the Zandvoort town council and several other partners. The track and the infrastructure will be modified in order to meet the standards laid out by the international auto racing federation FIA. In addition, the municipality of Zandvoort has recently invested heavily to improve access to the municipality and the circuit.

"The circuit and Zandvoort are connected to each other inextricably," said Zandvoort mayor Niek Meijer. "The comeback of the most successful race event in the world to Zandvoort is long cherished wish of the millions of Formula 1 fans and especially the citizens and businesses in Zandvoort."

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