The Assen TT circuit has passed simulation tests and will be inspected in early 2018 as it hunts an FIA Grade 1 license to open up the possibility of hosting the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix in the future.

Assen has confirmed it is set for an FIA inspection in the next few months to assess its suitability of holding an F1 race to potentially bring back the sport to the country for the firs time in over three decades. The iconic Dutch circuit, which currently welcomes MotoGP, World Superbikes and British Superbikes, is currently undergoing a redevelopment plan to improve spectator facilities with a new grandstand being extended around the final section of track for 2018.

In a statement released by the circuit on racesport.nl, Assen has passed initial computer simulations assessing the track’s suitability in terms of layout and width to fulfil the safety standards to host an F1 race. Boosted by the rise in interest thanks to fan favourite Max Verstappen, F1 is eager for a return to the Netherlands for the first time since 1985 after Zandvoort dropped of the race calendar when the previous circuit owners went out of business.

F1 commercial boss Sean Bratches has recently visited the country to discuss the opportunity of a Dutch race but interest was muted in potential city street races in both Amsterdam and Rotterdam. With Assen already an FIA Grade 2 specification track, it is thought minimal improvements to the circuit’s infrastructure would be required to be F1-approved.

“On behalf of the board of the TT Circuit Assen on the information we received from the FIA regarding the suitability of the TT Circuit Assen for a grade 1 license,” a press statement from the Assen TT circuit read. “This is in response to the inspection we have requested.

“The FIA ​​has informed us that the TT Circuit Assen, based on computer simulation, in terms of layout and width of the track meets the safety standards for a possible Formula 1 race.

“Follow-up research and on-site inspection are necessary in order to be able to make a definitive assessment of the integral suitability of the accommodation for facilitating a Formula 1 race. These matters will be completed in the coming months.”

Neighbouring F1 races in Belgian and Austria heralded hug nfan attendance increases in 2017 compared to the previous year with the Spa-Francorchamps crowd number rising by 11.8% and the Red Bull Ring’s by a whopping 41.38%. A significant portion of this increase is believed to be for Verstappen fans with large grandstands sold out all supporting the Red Bull driver.

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