2020 Dutch GP is ‘not likely’ rues Lammers

Michelle Foster
Zandvoort PA

Zandvoort PA

The chances of the Netherlands hosting a grand prix this season have been dealt a blow by the government’s decision to ban mass gatherings until September.

The Zandvoort circuit was scheduled to return to the Formula 1 calendar in May but the race was postponed by the organisers in response to the world’s ongoing health crisis.

Postponed but not cancelled.

The latter, though, is looking ever more likely after the Dutch government banned events including professional sports and music festivals until 1 September.

“We have to wait and see what possibilities are still offered to us, but I do not think it is likely that this year will still be possible,” Dutch Grand Prix promoter Jan Lammers told De Telegraaf.

“It is what it is.

“In any case, there is clarity and I respect the level of assessment of the experts. It was also clearly communicated.”

The Netherlands will undoubtedly not be the only country extending its ban on mass gatherings with Lammers saying it makes things difficult for Liberty Media to put together a racing calendar.

“The management of Formula 1 and the international motorsport federation FIA are now facing an almost impossible task to make something of a calendar for this year,” he said.

He, however, acknowledges that safety must come first.

“It is the virus that rules,” he added. “In Singapore they also thought they had handled everything right from the start and now they regret having relaxed the rules.”

As things stand it looks as if Austria could open the 2020 Formula 1 season in July with the government saying it “won’t stand in the way” of behind-closed-door event.

The Red Bull Ring could host two grands prix, one a Wednesday evening race, before the circus heads to Silverstone for two, or even three, consecutive race weekends. Those too would take place without spectators.

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