Three-day Formula 1 weekend kicks off in Zandvoort; 105,000 visitors expected per day
Zandvoort will receive the first 105,000 Formula 1 supporters for the race weekend on Friday. The Dutch Grand Prix will take place for three days in the coastal town with 17,000 inhabitants. The municipality also expects to welcome that number of race fans on Saturday and Sunday.
To transport all those supporters, NS will run a train from Amsterdam Central Station to Zandvoort every five minutes. Two bus lines that normally end in Haarlem will also continue to the circuit. Despite the extra trains, NS warned travelers to expect “large crowds in the trains and at the stations” and longer travel and waiting times.
Spectators are encouraged to come to Zandvoort on foot, by bicycle, by public transport, or by coach as much as possible. Major access roads are closed to motorized traffic. All traffic flows around the village are monitored in a mobility center on the circuit. For this purpose, smart cameras are used along the cycle paths, among other things.
The gates of the circuit will open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday. The first free practice will start at 12:30 p.m. On Sunday, Max Verstappen will try to win the Formula 1 race in his home country for the third year in a row.
Taxis won’t block access roads
Haarlem taxis will be welcome in the Zandvoort region around the Formula 1 race this weekend. About 150 angry drivers threatened to block access roads to the Dutch Grand Prix in protest, but that will not happen, a spokesperson said. The municipality of Zandvoort made an exception for taxis in its hermetic closure of the seaside resort.
The taxi drivers from nearby Haarlem complained that they weren’t even allowed to pick up or drop off customers in surrounding villages this weekend. The municipality of Zandvoort had chosen to only issue locals a vehicle pass, which is necessary to get near Zandvoort this weekend. After “constructive consultation,” Haarlem taxis with a permit for the bus lane are now allowed to enter Overveen, Bloemendaal, and Aerdenhout.
“We are happy with this,” said Salim Belgnaoui on behalf of the dissatisfied taxi drivers. “We are not yet satisfied, but this is fair.” According to Belgnaoui, the municipality has also made important commitments for next year.
This year, the municipality of Zandvoort came up with a special pass for taxis because there was a lot of fraud with the exemptions last year. A spokesperson said that this year, too, many permits will be offered online. “But that makes no sense because they are on the license plates. And if that doesn’t match, the cars will be towed away.”
Reporting by ANP