Pitlane constraints and a cramped main paddock have been recognised as some of the integral inadequacies since talks about reintroducing the race initially began. Changes are anticipated to ensure the long-term viability of the event, and also provide room for potential broadening of the Formula 1 grid.
The limited space of the pitlane previously prompted the FIA to permit drivers to commence behind a safety car on intermediate tyres, rather than the ordinarily mandated wets, in an effort to prevent a chaotic rush into the pits. During Sunday’s race, the forecasted rain arrived late. As a result, several drivers opted for intermediates at the conclusion of the first lap.
Space limitations in the pitlane caused the majority of teams to avoid double stacking their cars. This decision impacted those who remained out for an additional lap, especially racers like Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, and Esteban Ocon. AlphaTauri was the only team to double stack, resulting in a 10-second penalty for driver Liam Lawson as his car obstructed Kevin Magnussen‘s exit.
Dutch GP sporting director Jan Lammers conveyed to F1 Initiative that, “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.” Consequently, plans have been made to expand the pit garages and the pit lane next year towards the Tarzan corner, Turn 1, by six boxes.
Lammers further noted that if the Formula 1 fleet of 20 cars ever grew to 22, the circuit would be prepared. However, safety and space were the primary motivations for the changes. The main challenge lies in reconfiguring and extending the pedestrian tunnel under the main straight, as the allocated areas for the new garages overlap with the tunnel’s entrance.
“We can just design the tunnel in a different way, “ commented 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.”
According to Lammers, the circuit will maintain its efforts to enhance its facilities over the upcoming years. “We develop in stages,” he remarked. The pitlane is just nest step of the development, he added, with many future plans underway. The aim is to keep making improvements wherever possible and adapt as necessary.