Jul.18 (GMM) It is not certain that the Dutch GP will become a permanent fixture on the Formula 1 calendar.
The race at Zandvoort has become an instant favourite, in large part due to Max Verstappen’s popularity – with 110,000 spectators per day expected in early September.
However, the current deal expires after next year’s event.
“It is certainly not as easy as A-B-C,” said circuit boss Robert van Overdijk when asked about the forthcoming negotiations with Formula 1.
“We are not there yet simply with the ticket sales. We are a 100 percent privately funded event, so we also need the support of sponsors,” he told De Telegraaf.
“The municipality of Zandvoort is also the only government party that has been positive from day one, so it is obviously important to us that this remains the case.
“All these talks have already started and we cannot forget that we have only organised the event once.
“If it is up to Formula 1, we will immediately sign a new contract,” van Overdijk added. “But we are not Bahrain. We cannot just sign until 2036.
“We do not have a government supporting us every year – we have to arrange everything ourselves.”
However, he is confident that the current talks will eventually result in some sort of contract extension.
“It looks positive on all fronts,” said van Overdijk. “We have agreed with FOM that clarity will be provided around 1 November.
“So let’s take care of this second edition of the event first.”
Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad thinks a new two-year contract may be on the cards.
“We are in a fantastic position,” van Overdijk responded. “Everyone has praised us.
“But we have to keep both feet on the ground. We only have an event if it is 100 percent funded.”
Meanwhile, Dutch GP boss Jan Lammers warned the legions of Dutch fans that Zandvoort will not tolerate the sort of behaviour seen in Austria recently.
“If you’re drunk and rowdy in the pub, you’ll be kicked out,” he told nu.nl. “That is no different in Zandvoort.
“But Max himself has spoken out about it so I am counting on the common sense of the fans,” Lammers, a former Formula 1 driver, added.