Lammers questions ‘ethics’ of an August Dutch GP

Date published: March 20 2020

Zandvoort_circuit

Dutch Grand Prix promoter Jan Lammers says maybe it would be better to hold off on hosting a Dutch Grand Prix until “next year”.

The Dutch Grand Prix was expected to return to the Formula 1 calendar on May 3 with Zandvoort back in F1 for the first time in 35 years.

The race has now been postponed.

Formula 1 announced on Thursday that both the Dutch and Spanish GPs had been postponed due to the coronavirus while Monaco is off the calendar for this year.

There is already talk of rescheduling the Dutch race for August, however, Lammers isn’t so sure that’s a good thing.

“People are talking about August, but that is pretty fast,” he told Dutch broadcaster NOS.

“Suppose we can celebrate in July that the country is clean from the virus, is it ethically and morally right to want the race in August?

“Maybe it would be much better not to do it until next year. There is so much more going on now.”

Asked whether it ‘hurt’ to learn that the race had officially been postponed, he replied: “No, absolutely not.

“We were ready, but May 3 is just too early. We wanted to have a nice party, but we just can’t do it now.

“We are all gripped by the virus. This is simply a logical consequence.

“It is a period in which you only have to hope for one thing: that the nasty virus will be out of the world very quickly. And if it is also out of the Netherlands, then you can start thinking about if May 3 not, then when?”

Lammers also took the opportunity to pay tribute to Bruno Bruins.

The Dutch sports minister collapsed in parliament on Thursday and announced his resignation later the same day.

“The bad news is that Bruno Bruins has to step down as minister,” Lammers said. “Such a man is almost dead because of the consequences of the coronavirus.

“Should we then talk about a sports event that is going to be moved and talk about a disappointment? That is of course very unethical and immoral.”

He added: “All those people who are badly affected medically or financially, that is where our thoughts and our attention should go.

“That this sporting event is postponed is not what we had all hoped for, but we just have to make way for the things that really matter.”

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