In Depth

F1: Max Verstappen drives the first laps at Zandvoort in a Red Bull RB8 - videos, pictures and reactions

On 3 May the renovated circuit will host the first Dutch Grand Prix for 35 years

Excitement is building for the return of the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix after Max Verstappen took a Red Bull Racing RB8 for the first laps around the newly-renovated Zandvoort Circuit yesterday. 

On 3 May the circuit will host the first Dutch GP in 35 years and Verstappen will be the star attraction.

His home grand prix is expected to attract thousands of his “Orange Army” as they pack the stands to see the 22-year-old race on home soil. 

While the seaside circuit’s layout is largely the same, Red Bull says a number of key modifications have been made: “Most notably in Turns 3 [Hugenholtz] and the final corner [Arie Luyendyk], both of which now feature steep and challenging banking of up to 18 degrees.”

After driving the double world title-winning RB8 on his home circuit Verstappen had a message for his loyal fans.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back here for the grand prix,” he said. “To have a home grand prix will be even more crazy than usual in terms of support. 

“I hope it’s going to be a highlight of the season, but it will all depend on the Sunday result. But we’ll do everything we can to make sure it’s a good one.”

F1: Red Bull have high hopes for Max Verstappen’s title bid 

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Reaction: what Verstappen said about the circuit

“It was a great opportunity to be the first person to drive an F1 car at the new Zandvoort Circuit and the track is really cool - especially Turn 3 where the banking is amazing. I didn’t expect the banking to be that big but it’s really cool to drive an F1 car on. 

“The last corner is the same. It’s also pretty banked and with the new cars and DRS open through there it will be a good challenge and a lot of fun.

“The whole track is very demanding. There are a lot of fast corners and still not that much run-off. That makes it really challenging to go on the limit, but that’s good. That’s what we like. 

“Does it give me a head start coming here today? Maybe a little. It’s always good to drive a track for the first time and see how it feels and what it’s like. I definitely enjoyed it.”

In pictures: Verstappen drives at Zandvoort

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen drives the RB8 at the newly-renovated Zandvoort CircuitRed Bull’s Max Verstappen drives the RB8 at the newly-renovated Zandvoort CircuitRed Bull’s Max Verstappen drives the RB8 at the newly-renovated Zandvoort CircuitRed Bull’s Max Verstappen drives the RB8 at the newly-renovated Zandvoort CircuitRed Bull’s Max Verstappen drives the RB8 at the newly-renovated Zandvoort Circuit

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