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Dutch Grand Prix a 'realistic' prospect from 2020

131   //    20 Nov 2017, 02:25 IST

verstappen - CROPPED
Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Formula One could return to Zandvoort from 2020, according to circuit co-owner Bernhard van Oranje. The Dutch Grand Prix has not been staged since 1985 but the popularity of the sport in the Netherlands has soared since Max Verstappen joined the grid in 2015.

Verstappen - who was actually born and raised in Belgium but races under the Dutch flag - is followed around the world by a legion of passionate fans from the country.

And track bosses hope to capitalise on that surge in interest by returning the race to the F1 calendar, after a feasibility study was carried out last week.

"I believe [F1 owner] Liberty Media is looking for a way to make the sport attractive and I think they know what they need to do," Van Oranje told Autosport.

He added, "In my opinion, an 'old school' racetrack belongs on the calendar, where if you run off the track you will hit the gravel. It's no surprise that Zandvoort is the most popular track among the DTM drivers, it's a challenging track and therefore fun to drive and fun to watch for fans."

"So, I believe the track fits in their strategy. Don't expect the event to happen before 2020, but after that it would be a realistic scenario. We need to find a larger consortium to bring an event like that to the Netherlands. If that's positive, we'll sit together to see what is possible and take the return on investment into account. The next step is to see what kind of demands there are and at some point you need to acquire a spot on the calendar."

Niki Lauda won the last Dutch Grand Prix - his third win in the race.

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