Massive crowds expected as Dutch Grand Prix kicks off in Zandvoort
Zandvoort is filling up with racing fans hours before the first Formula 1 cars will enter the track at noon on Friday. The grandstands along the race track are slowly starting to fill up. The day is sold out, and the organizers expect 105,000 spectators. The first races started at around 9:00 a.m. with Formula 3.
Dozens of fans were already at Haarlem station in orange clothing or racing team shirts at 7:30 a.m. Amsterdam Central Station was also crowded with Formula 1 fans. Hundreds of visitors were walking along the boulevard from Zandvoort aan Zee train station to the entrance of the circuit.
The circuit and coastal town expect over 100,000 visitors daily and took extensive traffic measures to prevent disruption.
NS is running a train every five minutes between Amsterdam Central and Zandvoort aan Zee station. “In this way, we bring a maximum of 10,000 travelers per hour to the races and back,” according to NS. Travelers should take crowds into account on the trains and at the stations. NS also deployed two drivers per train, one in front and one in the rear, so that trains can depart quickly again after arrival. There are also extra teams ready to intervene if things go wrong.
Both access roads to Zandvoort and Bloemendaal are closed to traffic. Travelers’ association ANWB advised road users to avoid the Haarlem and Bollenstreek regions in the coming days and to choose other routes.
The Dutch Grand Prix kicks off on Friday with free practice races. The first free practice starts at 12:30 p.m., and the second at 4:00 p.m.
Spectators will be especially curious about Max Verstappen’s performance on the winding, narrow race track through the dunes. Verstappen won the Zandvoort race last year when the premier class of motorsport made its comeback in the Netherlands after 36 years. The Limburg racer for Red Bull became the first Dutch world champion in Formula 1 later that year. This year he has already won nine Grand Prix and leads the championship.