Dutch Grand Prix: September F1 race will have a live audience
Jan Lammers, director of the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix, is confident that the Formula 1 race in Zandvoort in early September will be able to happen with a live audience. He believes the return of the Dutch Grand Prix can happen as was planned for last year, Lammers said to NU.nl.
"I have always said: without an audience is not an option for us. But as things are now developing with vaccination and successful experiments involving spectators, I think we will be able to receive an audience in September," Lammers said. The Dutch Grand Prix is the 13th race on the 2021 calendar. The Formula 1 season begins with the Bahrain Grand Prix next weekend.
The return of the Grand Prix to the Netherlands was originally scheduled for May 2020, but that had to be canceled due to the pandemic. The event was moved to September 3 to 5 this year. "We are still very happy with that date, because the chances are very high that we will be able to do much more in the autumn, especially if we keep sticking to the rules for now," he said. "We now assume that we can organize the event as planned for 2020, but a lot will depend on developments."
A massive 300 thousand tickets had been sold for the canceled Grand Prix. A relatively small number of people asked for a refund, but the rest kept their tickets for September. The refunded tickets also sold out in no time, so Lammers expects full stands in Zandvoort on 3, 4 and 5 September.
"An advantage is that most tickets were sold to Dutch people, and a third even to people within a radius of 10 kilometers from the circuit," Lammers said to the newspaper. "If travel restrictions are still in place by then, that will not have much effect on us. And because 100,000 ticket holders live nearby, we can also limit traffic movements. That is good, because we want to create the most sustainable Grand Prix on the calendar here."