“You already have a certain amount of spectators who are safe”– Dutch Grand Prix will have a record pandemic era crowd of 105k.
The COVID-19 pandemic for the larger part of last year prevented fans from being a part of the Grand Prix; slowly, they were transitioned back into the stands as countries learnt to control massive spread.
Now, the Netherlands, which is ready to host the Grand Prix from 3-5 September, plans to host 105,000 fans each day at Zandvoort, which will be a record attendance since the pandemic started.
“It’s going in a positive direction very quickly, but that in itself is not so strange, everyone knows now how to act with the virus around,” Dutch GP sporting director Jan Lammers explained.
“And then you have the people who’ve already had a corona and those who have already been vaccinated. If you take all of those things together, you already have a certain number of safe spectators from getting the virus from someone else anyway.
“We don’t have a clear idea of how big those numbers are at the moment, but it’s looking good and that’s nice.”
Oranje army for Max Verstappen
Lammers is excited about the idea of hosting a massive number of Max Verstappen fans at the venue, for whom Zandvoort is the home circuit.
“Just imagine if that’s still the case by the time we have the Dutch Grand Prix – how beautiful do you want to have it?” he said. “Formula 1 back at Zandvoort with a Dutchman on the grid who regularly wins races and is also leading the standings.”
“If you would have told someone that five or six years ago, they would have said you were crazy!”
Need to start the work now
However, to maintain the COVID-19 preventions among this humungous crowd, the Dutch GP officials would need at least two months two prepare all the logistics.
“We need two months to get everything logistically in order. That’s more or less our deadline, to be able to put up all the temporary grandstands and things like that,” Lammers confirmed.
“But what is happening now [with Covid cases] is the result of all the positive things that have already happened in the past few months, if not in the past year. And we can all be proud of that.
“We have seen that days like the King’s Day [national holiday] have not worsened the figures. And that is a wonderful sign. That means that the trend will continue, perhaps even faster than we are hoping for.”