Albers: Very difficult to judge Zandvoort banking effect

Former F1 driver Christijan Albers thinks Pirelli will cope with the banked corners that are currently being constructed in time for next year’s Dutch Grand Prix which returns to Zandvoort.

One of the corners will feature an audacious banking gradient that far outstrips the fabled Indianapolis Speedway where, in 2005, the United States Grand Prix was badly affected by Michelin tyre problems.

But Albers, who was in that race at the Brickyard for Minardi, urged caution in assessing the potential problems that Zandvoort’s banking may pose.

“It strikes me that many people have already formed their opinion, especially about the two banked corners,” he told De Telegraaf newspaper.

“But it is very difficult to judge in advance. The advantage these days is that there is only one tyre supplier, Pirelli, who can choose which tyres are brought to each race. In my time we still had the battle between Michelin and Bridgestone,” he added.

Albers, a 40-year-old Dutchman, applauded the organisers of the race for launching their bid to host the Dutch Grand Prix amid Max Verstappen’s booming popularity.

“A serious amount of money had to be put on the table and a number of enthusiastic entrepreneurs went with it,” he said. “I say ‘chapeau’ for that.

“They have put their balls on the line with that investment. At many other circuits, the money comes from the government, so this is super cool for Dutch fans.

“It will be a sensational circuit for a F1 car. It may be something of a parade because the circuit is not very wide, but we can also count on a very tough, tactical grand prix,” Albers continued.

“At Zandvoort, you have to deal with factors such as wind and sand. It will be a great weekend in May 2020,” he said.