Grand Prix organizers happy with successful event, despite crowds criticism
The organizers of the Dutch Grand Prix is very satisfied with a successful return of Formula 1 to the Netherlands. "We look back with great pride on a fantastic weekend," circuit director Robert van Overdijk said to NOS. "A lot of hard work went into this event and I only saw happy faces." King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, and Princesses Amalia and Ariane were among these happy faces.
On the third and final day of the Dutch Grand Prix, thousands of people flooded to Zandvoort to see Max Verstappen claim the victory. Afterwards, thousands of people left the seaside town by train. By 7:30 p.m., NS said it transported some 20 thousand people. About 23 thousand racing fans went to Zandvoort by train on Sunday. Over the entire weekend, NS transported just under 90 thousand people, spread over 522 trains.
The main criticism on the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend was the crowds, with many on social media criticizing the scale of the event, which allowed some 65 thousand spectators per day. On Friday, social media was flooded with photos of the Zandvoort train station and streets crowded with people, sparking angry reactions from politicians and the events sector, among others.
According to Van Overdijk, the Dutch Grand Prix organizers managed the crowds well on Friday, and Saturday and Sunday were "flawless" in that respect. An event with 65 thousand visitors per day will logically result in crowds, he said,
There was also criticism online about the fact that visitors were often milling around, specifically because the government stated that the Dutch Grand Prix was allowed to happen because it was a seated event - everyone had a fixed seat and there would therefore be less milling and fewer contacts than at another large event.
"Saturday and Sunday people stayed in their seats longer. That they had to go to the bathroom or to go get a drink was part of it," Van Overdijk said to NOS.
"Being happy and having fun is also an important part of public health," Jan Lammers, sporting director for the Dutch Grand Prix, added to the broadcaster.