(photo credit ESPN F1 on Twitter)
After one of the biggest blunders of the 2021 season that saw the shortest grand prix ever recorded in Formula One history, the world's greatest drivers take on the legendary Zandvoort circuit for the first time since the 1980s as the championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen reaches a fever pitch with only eleven races to go in this heavyweight bout. The Dutch Grand Prix has been off the calendar since 1985, when famed F1 driver Niki Lauda took his Ferrari to victory circle. Since then, the circuit has gone through some changes. With most drivers comparing this race circuit to a roller coaster that will challenge the likes of even the best drivers. This is the second attempt to bring this race back to the schedule as this race was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Zandvoort is a 4.259 KM or 2.646 mi, 14-turn permanent circuit located in North Holland, Netherlands. Very rarely do we see Formula One circuits with banking and this is going to be one of only two tracks this season with banking, joining the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix later this year. Due to the high speeds and narrow track, there will be no DRS zone coming off the final corner which is banked at 19 degrees. There will be only one DRS zone on track this weekend as drivers will be able to use it on the second longest straight at the circuit between turns nine and ten. While turn fourteen is a long sweeping right hand corner, the other banked corner at the circuit is turn 3. Which is probably the most difficult corner on the track as it is a downhill hairpin that makes the preferred line more diamond-like then hugging the bottom as you extend the turns four through six complex. While Lewis Hamilton may be the odds on favorite this weekend at Zandvoort, the real hero this weekend will be Max Verstappen as this is home race for the season. You thought Austria looked orange, just wait until you have seen 67,000 fans all screaming for Verstappen as he dives into the first turn; Tarzanbocht. As for some mid-field action, the only team to have both cars score points in the last two races has been Williams. Can the continue this hot streak? Can Lando Norris bounce back from a horrible weekend in Spa? How can I also forget the Kimi Raikkonen farewell tour begins as well. You can watch the Dutch Grand Prix at 9:00 A.M. this Sunday on ESPN. Stay up to date with RacingRefresh.com for more F1 news, analysis, and opinion for the rest of the 2021 season.