Dutch GP might not run in 2020, admits race chief

Dutch Grand Prix boss Jan Lammers has admitted that the returning Formula 1 race at the revamped Zandvoort circuit may have to be called off in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Dutch GP might not run in 2020, admits race chief

On Thursday F1 announced that the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco events had all been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Subsequently, the organisers of the last-named confirmed that their event has officially been cancelled for 2020.

Zandvoort remains on the list of races that F1 is urgently trying to reschedule, and August has been touted as a possible alternative date now that the loss of the summer break has opened up more slots.

The race has long been sold out, and given the huge expense involved in rebuilding the seaside circuit there is clearly some pressure to get it run this year.

But Lammers acknowledged that ultimately the race might have to be cancelled.

“We’ve accepted the fact that it might be one of the consequences," he told Motorsport.com. "There are countries where the virus hasn’t even entered. Where are we on the graph of the peak?

“In China it’s getting back in control, but in which stage are we at the moment? It’s something that we’d like to think we’re in control of, but we’re not, it’s the virus that has us all in its grip.”

Despite the obvious difficulties faced by the promoter, Lammers stressed that there is a bigger picture.

“Of course we feel bad for the fan, but at the same time the fan lives in the same world that we do. “It’s the virus that has us all in control, so we are in charge of nothing at the moment. It’s the virus that steers us in all kinds of directions.

“At this moment we absolutely don’t want to go on a pity trip in terms how inconvenient and bad and sad it is, because there are companies that have been closed down from one moment to the next, there are people who rely on their daily cash flow which has gone to zero.

“There’s so much more going on in the world at the moment that it would be completely wrong to have a grand prix on May 3rd. Even if we would be able to do it you have to ask yourself if it’s something you want to do?

“From our point of view it’s something that we could see coming, of course. The most important news is ‘OK, not May 3rd.’ The big question now is, ‘When will it be then?’”

Asked about the prospect of an August date, Lammers conceded that it might not prove viable if the health situation does not improve.

“We would be over the moon if by July we can say the country and the world is free of the virus, but how realistic is that?

“Right now we just have to be ready for all kinds of scenarios, and even as a fan you’d be better off wondering if postponing it for a year wouldn’t be better. All scenarios are possible.

“If August would be something that you focus on then it could well be a matter of time before you have to cancel that one. It’s all taking place in the world that we all live in. You look around and say how realistic is it? You tell me.”

Lammers said that everyone has to consider the worldwide situation: “There is a funeral every half an hour in Bergamo.

"If you’re a fan, and you bought your ticket, and you have to wonder when the grand prix is in the light of what is happening at the moment that is an inconvenience, rather than a drama or a disaster.

“People that are healthy one day are the next week fighting for their lives. If that hasn’t happened in your own circle, you have to consider yourself lucky. Wait until it hits somewhere close to you before you realise what’s going on in the world.”

shares
comments
F1 teams won’t have to agree calendar changes, says Carey

Previous article

F1 teams won’t have to agree calendar changes, says Carey

Next article

Opinion: How Ecclestone might have handled the Australian GP

Opinion: How Ecclestone might have handled the Australian GP
Load comments
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021