FIA European Formula 3 rookie Max Verstappen has added his name to the list of drivers set to take part in this year’s Zandvoort Masters.
The 16-year-old will race with the Team Motopark squad for the annual Dutch special, switching briefly from his regular seat with van Amersfoort.
The European Championship discontinued its affair with Zandvoort last season when the race fell off the DTM calendar; however Verstappen was keen to race on home soil. “I’m very happy to be able to drive the Zandvoort Masters,” said the teenager on his website this week. “We’ve established a good relationship [with Motopark]. I’m confident that we can put in a good performance in front of my home crowd. Hopefully there’ll be plenty of fans at Zandvoort”
The Motopark team are not without success. Having proven successful in German F3 and ADAC Formula Masters in previous years, the Oschersleben-based squad took the Teams’ Championship in the GP2 Series last year, where they ran cars for RUSSIAN TIME.
Team Principal Timo Rumpfkell believes overall success is possible for his squad. “We definitely want to be in position to win it. It’s going to be though, but that is why we are going there. A podium is the minimum, but the goal is to win it,” with Rumpfkell also noting: “We are hoping to add a little bit to the history of the event when we go to Zandvoort.”
It marks a welcome development for Verstappen’s father, former Formula One driver Jos, who won the famed event in 1993 with the Opel-powered Team WTS; however on the surface, the 42-year-old is wearing a pragmatic face. “Firstly, the Zandvoort Masters are an extra race weekend for Max and thus another good opportunity to gain experience in single-seater racing and Formula 3. Despite it being his first outing at Zandvoort, I hope Max can surpass my results from the past.”
Verstappen Sr is also aware of the importance of Max racing at his “home” track in front of the always fervent Dutch fans. “It’s also a great opportunity for the Dutch to see Max in action. Of course for himself it’s just a great chance to race on this circuit so everyone is very much looking forward to the first weekend in July.”
Although van Amersfoort will be fielding two cars at the F3 classic, the seats were filled long before Verstappen secured his drive.
There is also the added complication of the European Championship’s visit to Moscow Raceway for the seventh round of the series one week later, which prevents the FIA teams from sending cars to Zandvoort.
Following the round at the Norisring at the end of the month, teams will immediately begin forwarding their machines to Russia in anticipation for the championship’s debut at the Moscow Raceway.