Charlie Whiting has been visiting the Netherlands, more specifically Assen. Popularly known as “The Cathedral” in the world of motorcycle racing, it is one of the places that Liberty Media has scouted for a possible Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix in the near future.

Charlie Whiting is the race director and security officer for the FIA, which means all insepctions go through him. In the case of Assen, according to, he considers the track is still not ready. Currently, Assen is considered a Grade 2 racetrack and the current license given by the FIA expires on the 8th of April of 2018.

The FIA already conducted a preliminary inspection in December and the track size was found to be within the parametres which would allow its grade to be increased. However, there are still changes to be done. Whiting is mainly focusing his attention on the kerbs and track protections, which he considers to be small changes.

“We are glad to hear Whiting is happy with the track and the facilities, as well as their maintenance. His positive judgement is a very important step towards bringing back Formula 1 to the Netherlands, but we are not there yet. What is left is for the FOM to visit Assen, which will happen soon”, explained Arjan Bos, director of the circuit.

The FIA has a grading system in order to classify them and know which race series they can host. For example, Formula 1 can only race in Grade 1 tracks, while there used to be a Grade 1T for circuits that are used only for testing. Currently, there are 36 venues which hold the highest grading and thus could hold an F1 Grand Prix. Some examples include Barcelona, Fuji, Estoril and Magny-Cours.

Moreover, Liberty Media has already made public the interest in bringing F1 back to the Netherlands. Max Verstappen is one of the most popular drivers and this is shown through the flood of orange that ‘invades’ certain races during the season, most notably the Belgian Grand Prix which is nowadays considered to be the closest he has to a home race.

The Netherlands have been away from Formula 1 since 1985, when a Grand Prix was held there for the last time. That year, McLaren scored a sensational one-two, with Ayrton Senna third on his Lotus. When it comes to race victories, Jim Clark is the most successful driver with four triumphs, all of them with Lotus.