Sep.1 (GMM) The future of the highly popular Dutch GP seems unclear beyond the end of the current contract through 2023.
That is despite the fact that even Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali admits that the event at Zandvoort is, after just a single season back on the calendar, the stand-out in Europe.
“In the beginning it was difficult to set up an event because of corona,” the Italian said ahead of this weekend’s 2022 edition.
“However, I was promised that this would be a unique grand prix and I have to say that it worked. It really was the best event when it comes to atmosphere.
“We have a lot of interest now from other places but we only want to go there if they can offer the same experience as Zandvoort,” Domenicali added.
He admits the circuit still has “work to be done” on some of the facilities, because while the history and surroundings are impressive, “it is also getting quite old”.
Nonetheless, Zandvoort continues to deliver – with Dutch GP boss Jan Lammers revealing that “a third more spectators” will be trackside this weekend compared to 2021.
But that doesn’t automatically mean that negotiations for a new contract covering 2024 and beyond will be fruitful.
“We are not worried about ticket sales,” said Zandvoort circuit director Robert van Overdijk.
“But we also need our partners and the government,” he told Algemeen Dagblad. “We can only have an event if it is 100 percent funded.”
Former Dutch F1 driver Giedo van der Garde, however, is optimistic.
“As long as we have Max Verstappen, there is a very good chance that Formula 1 will remain in Zandvoort in the coming years and that is of course very nice.”