Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Formula One: Dutch Grand Prix postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic

The race, scheduled for return for the first time since 1985, had been sold out with demand for the 300,000 tickets vastly exceeding supply

The Dutch Formula One Grand Prix, due to return to the calendar for the first time since 1985, has been postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dutch GP was set to be held at Zandvoort on May 3, but was initially postponed in March amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Together with the motorsport federation (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.

"We were completely ready for this race and we still are," said Dutch Grand Prix sports director Jan Lammers.

"We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.

"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."

The race had been sold out, with demand for the 300,000 tickets vastly exceeding supply as locals clamoured to see Max Verstappen, the only Dutch driver to win a F1 championship grand prix, make his home debut.

Zandvoort has spent €15 million (Dh60.6m) on modernising its picturesque but outdated circuit, with two banked curves, in the dunes 25 km west of Amsterdam.

The 2020 season is due to get under way in Austria with back-to-back races on July 5 and 12, both behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, F1's 10 teams will be limited to a maximum 80 people each at races held without spectators when the delayed season gets going in July.

Revised 2020 sporting regulations published by the FIA detailed the conditions for such 'closed events'.

"From the start of a closed event until the declaration of the official classification of the race, no competitor may have more than a total of 80 team personnel within the confines of the circuit," the rules said.

"No more than 60 of these team personnel who are within the confines of the circuit may be associated in any way with the operation of the cars."

It said staff whose duties were solely connected with hospitality, sponsors, marketing, public relations, security or driving trucks to and from the event were not considered operational personnel.

Updated: May 28, 2020 03:11 PM

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