Sunday 01 August 2021

No real reason why Formula One racing can’t return to Zandvoort: report

Zaandvoort racing track from the air. Photo: Quistnix via Wikimedia Commons

There are no insurmountable organisational, technical or logistical reasons why Formula 1 racing could not return to the Zandvoort race track, according to research carried out on behalf of the town council and the track owners.

The last Grand Prix was held at the track, in the heart of the coastal dunes, in 1985 and was won by Niki Lauda. The town council voted in 2015 to try to bring the race back to the Netherlands.

Research bureau Decisio says in its report that work will have to be done to improve accessibility but that should not be a problem. ‘You have to be able to deal with it if more than 100,000 people come, but it is doable,’ spokesman Menno de Pater said. ‘You get that many people on a summer’s day already.’

Zaandvoort council alderman Gerard Kuipers says the Formula One races can be budget neutral if properly organised. At the same time, local businesses, cafes and bars will earn millions from a weekend’s racing, he said.

The council and track owners now plan to form a consortium to build support and look for investors but admit it will be years before Formula One racing returns to the Netherlands.

‘The adaptations and the infrastructure can be dealt with within a year, but we still have to form a consortium and get on the racing calendar,’ said prince Bernhard, who is one of the owners of Circuit Zandvoort. ‘So I’m not going to make any predictions.’

Among the events currently staged on the circuit, which was first built after World War II, is Formula Three racing.

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