‘I’m torn’: Ricciardo reacts to shake-up
DANIEL Ricciardo isn't completely sold on the idea of bringing the Dutch Grand Prix back to F1's calendar as he wrestles with what kind of race drivers will endure on the circuit in 2020.
It was announced on Wednesday that the Dutch GP will take place at Zandvoort - about 40 minutes from Amsterdam - as the track returns as a F1 destination for the first time since 1985.
It means Red Bull star Max Verstappen will have a home race next year and while Ricciardo says Zandvoort is an "awesome" track to drive on, he's worried overtaking will be near-impossible because of its narrow width combined with bulkier cars.
"Full honesty here, the track to drive on is pretty awesome," Ricciardo said, to Motorsport.com. "It's high speed, it's old school, big balls. From a driving point of view, it's fine.
"But how fast it is and how narrow some places are, I don't think it would be that exciting for overtaking - just my initial feeling.
"With the speeds we go now, following another car will be very difficult. That's my reservation with it. I think it'll be a very processional race, otherwise the track's cool.
"I'm a bit torn. To drive on it'd be fun but to race - with the width of the cars now it's probably a bit like a street circuit through some places. It'll be tricky to make a really exciting race."
Ricciardo's Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg and the Aussie's former Red Bull stablemate Daniil Kvyat shared similar reservations.
"Even in F3 (overtaking) was almost an impossible task. The track layout was not the most inviting for overtaking and racing, unfortunately," Hulkenberg said.
Kvyat added: "That's what was the first thing I thought - overtaking there might be a problem, because (there are) a lot of awesome high-speed corners, but with modern cars it is obviously hard to follow.
"The track is awesome to drive, honestly. Like in F3 it was my favourite track, but yeah, that's the question mark about it."
But Verstappen only had kind words to say after the Netherlands was granted its own grand prix for a minimum of three years.
"It's just an iconic, historic track," he said. "I have raced there before with F3 and it was a lot of fun. I compare the track a little bit with Suzuka (in Japan) because it's designed by the same person so I can understand that the characteristics are a bit similar.
"It's a pretty quick track and it's always good and exciting to have new ones on the calendar. I've done a few laps and doughnuts in an F1 car there too and the track was actually pretty challenging because you have a few banked corners, some places are very narrow and there's no run off.
"It's very cool, and with no run off, it's quite hard to find the limit. On some other tracks it's a bit easier but that also makes it more exciting."
Track officials say the circuit will be "modernised within a few areas" ahead of next year, with access to the seaside venue also having recently been improved.
With Sky Sports