F1 fans hit back at ‘stupid’ fake gravel trap installed at Dutch GP

Dutch Grand Prix: Andretti and Hunt collide in 1977

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F1 fans have slammed a new laminated gravel trap which will be used at Max Verstappen’s home race at the Dutch Grand Prix. The new trap sees fake gravel glued down to the floor. The surface has been fitted between the tight chicane between turns 11 and 12 in a bid to stop the racing line from being littered with stones.

Jan Lammers, Dutch Grand Prix Sporting Director, said the material will still act as a deterrent for cars as the surface will be “slippery and bumpy”. However, gravel will not be thrown onto the racing line when a car runs wide which could minimise stoppages.

Lammers said the system would stop “all kinds of debris” from getting on the track and hinted the material could be used at other tracks around the world. He explained: “There is a new development in Turn 12, on the inside, there is gravel but to avoid gravel getting on the track they have made the first metre look like gravel – but it is actually a little bit like tarmac.

“So you can’t really use it: it’s too slippery and bumpy for it. At least it avoids getting all kinds of debris on the track, so it’s a nice development for other tracks.”

However, F1 fans have attacked the new system and warned the material could lead to more issues on race day. Twitter user @Balance_Issues said: “There is a 1000% chance that the Zandvoort “fake gravel traps” are just going to break apart and have large chunks of epoxyed-together rocks littering the track causing safety cars, instead of smaller, less intrusive ones.”

@cd2026 posted: “That’s right up there in stupidity with ‘filling tyre barriers with concrete so they don’t get squashed.” It comes just months after organisers at the Miami Grand Prix used a picture of water instead of the real thing in their on-track Marina.

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The fake water was part of the setting for a five-star Yacht Club experience where ticket prices started from £8,199 ($9,500). However, the water came in for ridicule with Sky Sports host Craig Slater even pretending to swim on it ahead of the race.

Several social media users made comparisons between Zandvoort’s gravel trap and Miami’s marina while also using it as an opportunity to aim digs at Formula One. Twitter user @Mindspace31 commented: “Fake Championships, fake water, fake gravel traps F1 is getting faker and faker I guess.”

@OcBen added: “Fake marina, fake gravel trap. What’s next? Fake corners?”

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