Jan Lammers, the promoter of the Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort, has reiterated the need for spectators to be present when the race takes place in September, else it will not happen at all.
Lammers, a former Formula 1 racer himself, says Formula One Management (FOM) agree with them that fans are needed for the race at Zandvoort to happen, particularly with how popular a driver Max Verstappen is in his homeland.
The race was initially scheduled to return to the calendar in 2020, but it was one of the casualties of the coronavirus pandemic, and COVID-19 could still have an effect on whether it returns this year.
“Formula One Management knows where we stand. In fact, they share that opinion. After all, they see the enthusiasm that prevails here,” said Lammers to Racingnews365.nl. “The GP of the Netherlands is also the result of a bit of brave entrepreneurship. That’s why the grand prix is there, but driven by the enthusiasm around Max.
“But on balance, we can only organise that race with an audience, and you can’t do that without an audience. We just don’t think that’s right and FOM has adopted that opinion. The race has to take place with an audience and I think that will happen.”
Lammers says the recent rescheduling of the Australian Grand Prix to November and the postponement of the Chinese Grand Prix, as well as other rumoured calendar changes, has no effect on the timing of the Dutch race, and should spectators be allowed, it will happen on 5 September.
“The adjustment of the calendar has no consequences for Zandvoort,” Lammers said to NOS.nl. “We are happy that we have a place later in the season – September 5 seems a safe date.
“Racing in May, the original period, would probably have been a serious discussion point again.
“Australia has strict rules to combat the coronavirus. Given the situation worldwide, I don’t think anyone assumed Australia would go ahead in March.”