The Dutch Grand Prix is targeting a capacity crowd of 105,000 for its first Formula 1 race since 1985, according to the event’s sporting director, Jan Lammers.
Zandvoort’s return to the F1 calendar was originally planned for 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to those plans, eventually forcing its cancellation and delaying its return to 2021, with a scheduled date of September 5.
The COVID-19 situation has been steadily improving in the Netherlands, with both cases and deaths dropping since the country re-entered lockdown, but with plans to lift those restrictions this week and to scrap all restrictions by September, Lammers is hopeful of a capacity crowd.
“It’s going in a positive direction very quickly, but that in itself is not so strange,” he told Motorsport.com. “Everyone knows now how to act with the virus around. And then you have the people who’ve already had corona and those who have already been vaccinated.
“If you take all of those things together, you already have a certain amount of spectators who are safe from getting the virus from someone else anyway. It’s looking good and that’s nice.”
Although no decision has been made on whether a capacity crowd will be given the green light by the Dutch government, Lammers is hopeful of a decision in the next couple of months as that would give his team the necessary warning to start constructing temporary grandstands.
“We need two months to get everything logistically in order,” he explained. “That’s more or less our deadline, to be able to put up all the temporary grandstands and things like that.”
There would be no trouble selling those tickets with a Dutch driver currently leading the standings and in a great position to challenge for the championship.
“Just imagine if that’s still the case by the time we have the Dutch Grand Prix – how beautiful do you want to have it?” Lammers said of Max Verstappen’s position in the Drivers’ Standings, where he leads Lewis Hamilton by four points.
“Formula 1 back at Zandvoort with a Dutchman on the grid who regularly wins races and is also leading the standings. If you would have told someone that five or six years ago, they would have said you were crazy!”