Organisers of Formula 1’s Dutch Grand Prix say they would prefer to push back the date of their 2021 event rather than play host to an event without spectators.
The grand prix was due to return to the championship in May after a 35-year absence but was cancelled on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is expected that Zandvoort will again be handed an early May date with Formula 1 officials keen to schedule a provisional 2021 calendar similar to the original 2020 roster of events.
Zandvoort was due to be a sold-out event and as it stands different restrictions are in place depending on the territory.
Formula 1 has not yet welcomed fans to a grand prix this year but it is understood that some could be allowed into events from September.
“The virus just holds us all in a vice grip and so however much we would like to say something solid to our fans and know the things for ourselves: we just have to see,” Dutch Grand Prix Director Jan Lammers told MotorsportWeek.com.
“The event itself, May next year is eight months away, roughly. In eight months, a lot can happen in terms of a vaccine or a medicine or whatever, you know.
“We learn a lot about it every day so from that point of view, you would say well, eight months might be realistic to host an event here with the public, with 100,000 people every day.
“That looks more like wishful thinking, but that could be realistic if you’re positive.
“On the other hand, we have to present the calendar in about three months, two to three months and then we need to decide ‘what do we do?’.
“If it turns out that we have to choose either in May without the public or later in the year with the public, we obviously prefer the last [option].”
Lammers stressed that holding a 2021 Dutch Grand Prix would not be financially sustainable if spectators were not permitted.
“We don’t have government support and we have to do everything on our own risk,” he said.
“And so some of the other events that are now added to the calendar, maybe some of them have government support and then you can think about these things.
“But the fact that we would need the budget completely from FOM to host an event here, is not something that comes at the right time for them also.”