F1: First race fans arrive in Zandvoort, about 105,000 visitors expected
On the second day of the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort, the flow of visitors is starting to get going. The first race fans arrived at the coastal town's train station before 8 a.m. on Saturday on their way to the race track. According to the NS, there are several hundred of them. Some 105,000 visitors are expected to attend Saturday's third free practice and qualifying sessions.
Track director Robert van Overdijk is hoping for a little rain at Zandvoort on Saturday to make Formula 1 qualifying a little more exciting. For the rest of the day, however, the head of the Dutch Grand Prix would like it to stay dry. "The perfect scenario would be for everyone to arrive in the dry and then allow a few drops of rain just before qualifying," he said.
"If you ask motorsport fans and connoisseurs, everyone wants it to rain," Van Overdijk said. "That only makes qualifying more exciting. Compared to Friday, it's already much more exciting on Saturday because qualifying is the 'key' here."
On Saturday, there is a chance of rain in both the third free practice session and qualifying, and it cannot be ruled out that these showers will last long, as Weeronline reported on Friday. The probability of thunderstorms at Zandvoort is five percent. Formula 1 qualifying will begin at 3 p.m. From 11:30, the drivers will first drive the third free practice.
On Friday, NS carried nearly 40,000 passengers for the Formula 1 race, according to a spokesperson. Because of the race, trains will run every 5 minutes between Amsterdam Centraal and Zandvoort. Just like Friday morning, NS will run 12 trains per hour from 8 a.m. to bring the tens of thousands of F1 fans to Zandvoort.
Bus operator Connexxion also runs every 5 minutes from the bus station in Haarlem to Zandvoort. These are lines 300 and 356. In addition, the bus company operates longer and additional buses from Amsterdam's Zuidas and Amstelveen to transport visitors to the Dutch Grand Prix. According to the spokesperson, these two locations are the busiest due to parking capacity.
Connexxion transported about 6,000 people returning home from Zandvoort at the end of the first Formula 1 day. It was about the same number that Connexxion transported in the morning, said spokesperson and bus driver Rick de Vries.
The bus operator is selling special bus tickets for the trip to the race track. About 2,300 tickets had been sold by Friday afternoon, the spokesman said. Race fans are also encouraged to travel by public transportation, bicycle, or bus as much as possible.
Connexxion runs additional bus lines to the Zandvoort circuit on all race days between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. and between 4.30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Race fans can take a direct bus from Haarlem Station. In addition, people can also park their car in Hoofddorp, Amstelveen, or Amsterdam Zuidas, and then continue their journey by bus.
Reporting by ANP