MARCH 23, 2021
Dutch GP not giving up on F1 spectators
Zandvoort is still not giving up on hosting a full house of spectators for the Dutch GP in September.
The inaugural race at the rejuvenated circuit could not take place last year as a 'ghost race' as it totally contradicted the organisers' financial model.
F1 has scheduled the 2021 Dutch GP for September, but at present there is no sign that mass audiences of 100,000 people per day will be approved by the local authorities.
"As long as it has not been proven that it will not be possible in the future, then we assume that it is possible," race boss Robert van Overdijk told Algemeen Dagblad newspaper when asked about the chances of a full crowd.
So when asked what message he is putting out to the fans and Formula 1, he added: "That we continue to go with full power for a full house. We owe that to all parties."
Van Overdijk admits that it is not an ideal scenario for Zandvoort.
"The daily (infection) rates fluctuate - nothing else is talked about every day. Does that irritate me? Everyone wants certainty. But no one is able to look into a crystal ball," he said.
He said he is not expecting "definitive clarity" on the matter until "June and perhaps July".
"We need 8 to 10 weeks to build everything up - the stands, hospitality, tents. The plans are ready, the job is ready, the mobility plan, the permits. Organisationally we are ready," van Overdijk said.
In the event that spectators are excluded from the final plan, talks with Formula 1 about financial compensation is the next step.
"It is not just us that is committed to allowing the race to continue," he said. "The same applies to FOM.
"FOM wants a proper calendar again and they naturally also yearn for full, spectacular races," van Overdijk continued. "I do expect that we will start talking about it.
"We remain positive, and you should have that attitude too. If we let go of that, all of the air will immediately rush out."