With the arrival of the latest generation of Formula One machinery, lap records are starting to fall off one by one this season at grand prix circuits around the world. And the latest is at Zandvoort.
That’s where Max Verstappen set a new lap record this past weekend during a demonstration event for local fans. According to Autosport, Verstappen’s time of 1:19.511 beat by a few tenths the previous record set at 1:19.880 by Luca Badoer sixteen years ago in a Ferrari F2001.
What’s particularly impressive about Verstappen’s lap time is that it was set in a five-year old Red Bull RB8 and with the relatively hard tires used for demonstration events. “The V8 engine makes a nice sound, that always makes it extra special,” said Verstappen, who has only raced the V6 hybrids. “It is a slightly different car than I am normally used to, but with a better sound.”
Recently resurfaced, Circuit Park Zandvoort was once and for a long time home to the Dutch Grand Prix, first held in 1948 and orchestrated (with only one exception) every year from 1958 through 1985. Niki Lauda won the last running – his third victory there, tied with Sir Jackie Stewart and second only to Jim Clark’s four wins on the track. The event was never won by a Dutch driver.
A project to put the Dutch Grand Prix back on the calendar has been picking up steam. But with the Belgian Grand Prix so close by and more venues vying for races outside of Europe, the initiative could be facing an uphill battle. In the meantime, the circuit is used for other racing series including DTM and Formula 3, which holds its Masters race there each year that was won by Verstappen in 2014 (and by his father Jos in 1993).