Formula 1 set to return to Netherlands with Tuesday announcement

Aerial photo of the Zandvoort circuit in 2016
Aerial photo of the Zandvoort circuit in 2016Photo: Otto Karikoski / Wikimedia Commons

Formula 1 is returning to the Netherlands with the first Grand Prix since 1985 happening at the Zandvoort circuit in May 2020. Sponsor Heineken and Formula 1 owner Formula One Management made the official announcement on Tuesday, NPO Radio 1 reports.

Circuit Zandvoort has been in talks with the Formula One Management for months about bringing the Grand Prix to the Netherlands. The two parties agreed on a three-year contract.

"There were three reasons for us to return to the Netherlands", Formula One Management chairman Chasey Carey said at the press conference in Zandvoort, according to "The Grand Prix of Zandvoort has a great history, the passion in the Netherlands is great partly thanks to Max Verstappen and we wanted a new race in Europe for this generation."

"The Netherlands is also a great country. We want to go to locations that summarize the imagination of the world and offer a varied program to fans of all ages. The Grand Prix weekend should be a wonderful weekend for everyone", Carey said. 

A total of around 40 million euros is involved in the event, half of which goes to Formula One Management for the race to take place. The circuit itself also needs some considerable investment. The municipality of Zandvoort pushed 4 million euros into the event, the rest will be raised by sponsoring and ticket sales.

The fact that Heineken will be involved in the official announcement means that the beer giant will be the title sponsor of the event, which will be called 'Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix', according to the broadcaster. Jan Lammers will be the director of the event. 

Earlier this week NS warned that the railway around Zandvoort can't cope with the Grand Prix crowds. The Dutch rail company asked rail manager ProRail to invest in upgrading the overhead lines on the route.