Gov’t gives green light to Dutch Grand Prix; First Zandvoort F1 race since 1985
The Formula 1 race scheduled to be held at Circuit Zandvoort will be allowed to go ahead as planned. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge will announce final approval for the race when they update the country about coronavirus policy during a press conference on Friday, political sources told broadcaster NOS.
Capacity is expected to be allowed at a maximum of two-thirds. Those attending the race and supporting events during the first weekend in September will be expected to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a recent recovery from Covid-19, or a recent negative test result for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, the broadcaster reported.
The Formula 1 Drivers' Parade starts at 1:20 p.m. on September 5, and the race is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. The track in Zandvoort, Noord-Holland, measures approximately 4.3 kilometers.
Practice laps for Formula 1 will take place on September 3. Formula 3 and the W Series will also hold practice laps and qualifiers on that date. F1 qualification follows on September 4, when the other series hold most of their race events.
There will be no overnight stays allowed at the Zandvoort event site, and thus it will fall outside the scope of the ban on multi-day events, according to NOS. People will likely be required to remain in their fixed seating locations.
Dutch driver Max Verstappen is in second place on the 2021 Driver Standings, eight points behind Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton’s Mercedes team is in first place with 303 points on the Constructor Standings table, ahead of Verstappen’s Red Bull Honda, which has 291.
Verstappen had been in first going into the British GP, but Hamilton collided with him at Silverstone. The latter went on to win the race. The Dutch driver did not finish. Hamilton also took 18 points for a second place finish in Hungary on August 1. Verstappen won two points as he ended in ninth.
There was concern that Hamilton would be the continued target of anger by Verstappen and Red Bull fans at the race in the Netherlands. “Logically, everyone has their own preferences, but let’s show that in a civilized way in which we surprise Hamilton with our sportsmanship and hospitality,” said Dutch GP organizer Jan Lammers to Nu.nl.
”We are talking about a seven-time world champion.”