Dutch GP Long-Term Future In Doubt

2021 Dutch Grand Prix: Friday Tyre Analysis
2021 Dutch Grand Prix: Friday Tyre Analysis

Jan Lammers admits the Dutch GP does not have its future on the Formula 1 grid locked in.

Zandvoort’s current race contract expires after next year, and the former F1 driver and Dutch GP boss admits talks with Formula One Management could be difficult.

“FOM knows what they want and we know what we want,” he told Viaplay ahead of the popular event this weekend.

“If you see countries like Saudi Arabia committing to their grand prix for 900 million for ten years, we can’t take on that kind of competition,” Lammers admitted.

Kees van de Grint, a former Bridgestone and Ferrari engineer in F1, thinks it would be ridiculous if Zandvoort fell off the calendar because the sport asked for too much money.

“Money shouldn’t be the most important thing,” he said. “When I see what the Dutch have created, it’s unique. The audience we attract is also unique.

“If you are logical, the race stays here. Then those few million more should play no role.

“And when you hear the news from Amnesty International about Saudi Arabia, then it is already a shame that we are going there,” van de Grint added.

So high-profile is the Dutch GP already that activists are using the 2023 race to get their message out.

Climate change protesters blocked F1 trucks from entering the circuit this week, and disgruntled taxi drivers are also threatening to disrupt the event.

“The (climate) demonstrators were assigned a place to protest, but they didn’t use it,” a race spokesperson told Noordhollands Dagblad.

As for the taxi drivers, they’re upset that only local drivers are being granted work permits for the grand prix weekend.

“It’s a bit of a tricky situation because in the past people have kind of abused those passes,” Lammers admitted.

“There has just been some disagreement and that is why the good have to suffer because of the bad,” he added.

“You can’t escape it. With this kind of event, people take the platform to get attention for their story. That is their right.

“We don’t always want it, but you have to deal with it.”

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