Zandvoort F1 pits to be extended by six garages for 2024

The tight pitlane and small main paddock have been regarded as the biggest compromises since discussions about a return of the race first began.

The hope is that the changes will help to secure the event’s long-term future, while also allowing for any potential expansion of the F1 grid.

The pitlane issue led to the FIA allowing drivers to start behind a safety car on intermediates rather than the usually compulsory wets in order to avoid a mass rush into the pits.

On Sunday the rain came late and after a normal start, several drivers headed in for intermediates at the end of the first lap.

Most teams opted not to double stack their cars due to the space restriction, which compromised those who stayed out for an extra lap, notably Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon.

The one team that did double stack was AlphaTauri, which led to a 10-second penalty for Liam Lawson, whose car blocked the exit of Kevin Magnussen.

The safety car start intermediate rule was then applied at the restart after the red flag late in the race.

The short pitlane also contributed to a low-key presence in Zandvoort for the Apple F1 film production, which has occupied garages at several recent events.

“We could do with more space to just allow for a bit more safety and also for the pit stops so there’s just more working space,” Dutch GP sporting director Jan Lammers told Autosport.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“In view of that we will have an extension of the pit garages and pit lane next year, so towards the Tarzan corner, Turn 1, we will have an extension of six boxes.

“Should the F1 field of 20 cars ever extend to 22 we are also ready for it. But for this moment, the primary reason is safety and space.”

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The biggest challenge is that the area allocated for the new garages crosses the entrance to a pedestrian tunnel under the main straight, which will now have to be re-routed and extended.

“We can just design the tunnel in a different way, “ said Lammers. “We can still maximise that space, that should work.

“Where the exit is now is exactly where those extra garages will be. We will just make the tunnel a little bit longer, and then there won’t be an ‘L’ exit, there will be a straight exit.”

Lammers stressed that the circuit will continue to upgrade its facilities in the coming years.

“We develop in stages,” he noted. “We’ve done the circuit entry road, that’s improved, it’s newly paved and new tarmac, so it’s all brand new.

“And the pitlane is just the next stage of the development, so there’s a lot more plans for the future. And generally we improve where we can improve, and we will adapt where we have to adapt.”

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