Dutch GP organiser warns they need government funding

The Dutch Grand Prix was a fan favourite last season.

The director of the Zandvoort Circuit, Robert van Overdijk, is concerned about the financial obligations of putting together future editions of the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Zandvoort Circuit made its return to the Formula 1 calendar last season, 36 years after its last one in 1985, which was won by McLaren’s Niki Lauda.

It drew in thousands of fans, and plumes of orange flare smoke surrounded the racetrack between sessions as Max Verstappen supporters flocked to the event.

In glorious sunshine and right next to the beach in the west of the Netherlands, the entire weekend essentially entailed a three-day beach party which was sporadically interrupted by race cars.

Max Verstappen fans at Zandvoort.v1

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Verstappen would claim victory in front of 195,000 fans, and the track was lit up in orange as fans celebrated when he took the chequered flag.

They will be hoping for more of the same from their home hero this weekend in Zandvoort and, with the form that the Dutchman is on – having won all of the last three races and nine in total this season – that is certainly a strong possibility.

The reigning champion, particularly after his dramatic victory over Sir Lewis Hamilton in 2021, draws in lots of ticket sales, so these are not a problem.

However, event sponsors and government funding are crucial to Zandvoort remaining on the calendar beyond the end of its contract next year.

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“We are not worried about ticket sales,” van Overdijk told Algemeen Dagblad.

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“But we also need our partners and the government, we can only have an event if it is 100 percent funded.”

Following multiple incidents of appalling fan behaviour this season in Silverstone, Austria and Hungary, Dutch Grand Prix sporting director and former Formua 1 driver, Jan Lammers, has assured spectators that the Dutch fans will be “on their best behaviour.”

Verstappen enters the weekend with a 93-point lead in the Drivers’ Standings over team-mate Sergio Perez, while Red Bull lead Ferrari by 118.