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#IAMSTORIES: Meike, The Netherlands

As Formula One heads back to The Netherlands for the first time since 1985, Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team is ready to race in front of a famously passionate crowd.

Meike, The Netherlands

Having first fallen in love with Formula One in 2017, Meike will be one of many fans eagerly watching the return of Formula One to their home country, from the comfort of their own home. This is her story, in her own words.

Formula One has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. From playing with little racing cars as a kid, to hearing the V8 engines playing in the background on the TV, to watching the sport gain more and more recognition in my own country. 

But I didn't become an avid F1 fan until the end of 2017, after I spent a day or so watching back some of the older races. I immediately fell in love with the sport and the complexity of it. Ever since then, I've been following Formula One closely and race weekends are something I always look forward to.

The Dutch Grand Prix will be my first 'home race' and I'm very excited about it. Even though I unfortunately will not be attending this year, I'm looking forward to seeing the whole country turn into racing fans for the weekend. September is usually a strange month for us, where we go from the warmer summer season into the colder autumn season. There are often days where we experience all four seasons in one day, and it can go from sunny to rainy in a matter of seconds.

I think this will only make it more exciting, as we don't really know what to expect for the race. There could be wind, rain, sun… but no matter what, I'm sure it will be a good race.

I'd say the best place to watch the Dutch Grand Prix from is any place with other Formula One fans, whether it's your living room or a sports café. It's such a special day that needs to be shared with others.

Race Preview

Dutch Grand Prix

Formula One returns to The Netherlands for the first time since 1985, but the Dutch Grand Prix is back with a twist. The circuit features an incredibly daunting banked corner and a revised, high-speed, narrow circuit through the sand dunes of Zandvoort...

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2021 Dutch Grand Prix
2021 Dutch Grand Prix

The circuit is very exciting. I've seen a few races in other categories at Zandvoort and they were always really interesting. There seem to be good overtaking opportunities, which will only add to the excitement.

Zandvoort is a pretty unique circuit. In terms of elevation, however, it might be a little similar to the Portimão circuit.

I think the biggest challenge will be Turn One. To have a hairpin corner right at the start of the lap can bring great opportunities for some drivers and make it a lot more difficult for others.

The final corner, taken at an 18-degree angle, will make the race more exciting. Having such a steep corner will add to the challenge, and it'll be interesting to see how drivers deal with it.

The Netherlands is a pretty small country, but we have a lot of different cultures and landscapes. Zandvoort is on the coast of the North Sea, and even though September isn't the perfect time to go for a swim, there are a lot of nice beach restaurants and clubs where you can enjoy the sunset.

Amsterdam is a must-visit, in my opinion. It's a beautiful city, and it's one of my favourite places. I'd definitely recommend tourists try poffertjes (little pancakes), fries with mayonnaise, and bitterballen with mustard (a fried snack).

I have always been a fan of Sebastian Vettel's, and his move to Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team made me pay more attention to the team.

I love how the team is open and engages in starting conversations about societal issues in the world. I feel Sebastian gets a lot of support for his activism against climate change. 

Overall, it seems like such a positive environment, and as a Sebastian fan, I'm very happy he is in such a good place.

There are so many Formula One moments that are special to me, but my favourite is Sebastian's first-ever win at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. 

Even though I was only seven years old at the time and don't remember watching it live, I have watched it back many times and every time I'm impressed. 

I think it's incredible how Sebastian managed the weather conditions so beautifully in a Toro Rosso to become a Grand Prix winner at the team's home race, especially in such a competitive season.

My favourite moment of this year by far was Sebastian's second-place finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It was incredible to see Sebastian back on the podium, and the race was very exciting and action-packed, which made the finish even sweeter. 

Everyone in the team seemed so happy, and it's definitely the highlight of the season for me so far.

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Facts and Stats

Dutch Grand Prix