MAY 5, 2020
Circuits fighting to host ghost races says Lammers
Circuits are fighting behind the scenes to be part of F1's new 'corona calendar' for 2020, according to Dutch GP boss Jan Lammers.
On the face of it, Liberty Media will simply help the promoters like Austria and Silverstone to organise races whilst spectators are unable to cover the costs by buying tickets.
But Lammers, sporting boss at the Dutch GP, says it's not quite that simple.
He said Austria, Silverstone, Hungary "and possibly the Netherlands and Belgium" are among the initial candidates lined up by Liberty for 'ghost races'.
"But then they would have to pay for those five races without an audience. These are, of course, considerable sums that they cannot just cough up," said the former F1 driver.
And so, Lammers said market forces are also in play.
"Everything is being negotiated," he said. "Other circuits say 'You can race here for free, as long as we can be back on the calendar at a reduced rate in the future'.
"And those offers are used a bit by FOM with the other circuits. For us, it is not something very tempting to incur unnecessary costs," Lammers told BNR Newsradio.
As for whether Zandvoort will ultimately be among the 'ghost races', Lammers said that is initially up to RIVM, which is the Dutch public health institute.
"Unfortunately, we are also completely dependent on how FOM is progressing with the possibilities. Then maybe we can come back," he said.
"If FOM has the budget, and the Netherlands is open to the spectators, it will happen. But for the time being it seems that Zandvoort will not return after 35 years, but after 36."