Organisers of the Dutch Grand Prix have confirmed that the race will now not take place in 2020, as originally planned, and will instead take its position on the 2021 calendar as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The inaugural Dutch Grand Prix on the new Zandvoort circuit was originally scheduled to be the first race on the European calendar but, with the first series of fly-away races postponed, organisers decided it would be better to celebrate the event’s return in style in 2021 rather than without spectators later this year.
“We were completely ready for this first race and we still are,” read a statement from Dutch Grand Prix sports director Jan Lammers. “We and Formula 1 have investigated the potential to hold a rescheduled race this year without spectators, but we would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands. We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”
It will come as a blow to all Dutch fans, known as the ‘Orange Army’, who have purchased tickets to the event to cheer on home hero Max Verstappen, but their tickets will be safe for another year.
“Due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix has, as previously announced, been postponed,” added a statement from the race organisers. “The organization of the Dutch Grand Prix, in consultation with Formula One Management, has had to conclude that it is no longer possible to hold a race with an audience this year,”
“Therefore, it has been decided to postpone the race definitively to 2021. Together with the FIA, Formula One Management will determine the schedule for 2021, and with that the new date of the Dutch Grand Prix. Like every year the date will be announced by the FIA by the end of 2020. All tickets remain valid for the new race.”
The latest version of the 2020 calendar is now set to be announced on Monday, and should UK quarantine restrictions be lifted with the help of the government, back-to-back races at Silverstone could take place on August 2 and August 9.
Provisional European schedule:
July 5 – Austria
July 12 – Austria
July 19 – Hungary
August 2 – Britain
August 9 – Britain
August 16 -Spain
August 30 – Belgium
September 6 – Italy