A survey undertaken by Formula 1’s official online fan community says that the return of the Dutch Grand Prix to the calendar is among the most anticipated races of 2021.

F1 had been expected to head to the revamped Zandvoort circuit last year for the first time since 1985, but the global outbreak of coronavirus forced it to be postponed. It’s now scheduled to take place at the start of September.

Previous winners of the event include Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Mario Andretti and James Hunt. The final race at the venue was won by Niki Lauda.

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In a poll organised by F1 Fan Voice, the race was listed as one of the three races members were most looking forward to in 2021, along with Monaco and Belgium.

Last year’s Monaco race had been another casualty of the pandemic, but the Belgian Grand Prix eventually went ahead at the end of August and was won by Lewis Hamilton.

Overall, 87 per cent of those taking part believed that the current 23-race calendar looks ‘as good or better’ than any past season.

A quarter of fans said they ‘definitely’ planned to attend a race in 2021 if and when spectators are allowed back in the grandstands in the wake of coronavirus.

A further third said they were likely to if the right COVID measures such as regular hand sanitising stations, socially-distanced seating and compulsory mask wearing were in place.

©VolkerWessels

The same poll also found that Hamilton is the runaway favourite to win this year’s world championship. 78 per cent of fans taking part predicted he would take a record eighth title even though he’s yet to sign a new contract with Mercedes for 2021.

Max Verstappen was backed to win by 15 per cent, while his new Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez was voted ‘driver to watch’ by 27 per cent of respondents compared to 14 per cent eyeing Daniel Ricciardo’s renaissance following his switch to McLaren.

Hamilton and Verstappen were the most frequently picked drivers for a 2021 fantasy ‘super team’ by 42 and 38 per cent of fans respectively. George Russell also featured strongly with 23 per cent of fans selecting the Williams driver.

Mercedes is expected to win the constructors championship again by 78 per cent of fans compared to 18 per cent backing Red Bull while Ferrari was named ‘most improved team’ by 35 per cent compared to 23 per cent expecting further gains for McLaren.

The sample size of the survey was not disclosed.

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