Dutch GP organisers happy but concerned about new deal

The Dutch Grand Prix returned to the F1 calendar in 2021, following a 36-year absence.

There was good news for Max Verstappen, Nyck de Vries, and all Dutch Formula 1 fans, as F1 president Stefano Domenicali happily announced that the Dutch Grand Prix will remain on the calendar until 2025.

Zandvoort is set to feature at least three more times in F1 before it’s potentially dropped, with some concerned at how short the circuit’s extension is.

Nevertheless, Domenicali was pleased to announce the extension of the Dutch Grand Prix, one that has only been won by Verstappen since it returned in 2021.

“There is huge demand to host F1 races so it is testament to what the team have done to cement Zandvoort on the calendar until 2025, and we can’t wait to return next summer,” Domenicali said.

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Whilst it should be an exciting time for the nation and the circuit in particular, track director Robert van Overdijk has admitted that it was “not an easy decision” to extend the deal, with the current economic pressures having been a “concern” for the circuit.

“Of course we are very satisfied and happy with where we are now,” Van Overdijk told De Telegraaf.

“But this was not an easy decision.

“Rising costs and economic uncertainty are a concern.”

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The fee to host a race is continuing to increase across the globe, with venues in the Middle East and the United States being able to pay considerably more than those in Europe.

Ex-F1 driver and Dutch GP sporting director Jan Lammers admitted that this is a challenge, with other countries being willing to pay “almost a hundred million dollars”.

“We have to compete with other countries, where the government is ready to contribute and where sometimes almost a hundred million dollars a year is paid to organise a race,” said Lammers.

Given the current financial issues in Europe especially, fans wanting to attend the Dutch GP in the future are most likely going to have to part with more money, with ticket prices set to rise.

This is due to an ‘entertainment tax’ being considered by Zandvoort’s local municipality, something Lammers is far from happy about.

“We should charge our visitors with a ‘fun tax’ and of course we don’t want that,” said Lammers.

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“It feels like the municipality wants to piggyback on our success.

“While Zandvoort is in better shape than ever, the entrepreneurs and residents of Zandvoort attach great importance to the continuation of Formula 1 here and I don’t think this is the way to treat each other.

“I hope common sense is used. I was born and bred here and I hope that they will come to their senses and understand that this is not a good idea.”