Jan Lammers, sporting director of the Dutch Grand Prix, says holding a race at Zandvoort without Formula 1 fans is an “impossible” prospect.

The Dutch Grand Prix was set to return to the F1 calendar for the first time since 1985 in May at the revamped Zandvoort circuit, but the race was one of the nine grands prix to be postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

It was hoped the event could be rescheduled for a later slot during the European summertime but an extended ban on all public events in the Netherlands until September 1 has acted as another setback. 

F1’s plan to get the season off the ground includes holding behind closed door races at European rounds in Austria and Silverstone in July. Lammers admits such a scenario would not be possible for the Dutch Grand Prix, casting further doubt as to whether the race will be staged at all this year.

"It is what it is. In any case, there is clarity and I respect the level of assessment of the experts - it is also clearly communicated,” Lammers told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"The management of Formula 1 and the international motorsport federation FIA are now facing an almost impossible task to make something of a calendar for this year.

"We have not worked out scenarios for a 1.5 meter distance or racing without an audience. That is impossible for us and we did not want to present vague plans or come up with vague answers. 

“We want to roll out the event as we have thought of it and are also ready to activate it. But it is the virus that rules. 

“In Singapore they also thought they had handled everything right from the start and now they regret having relaxed the rules.”

Zandvoort circuit director Robert van Overdijk conceded the development came at no surprise and added that the race must now take a “second seat” for the time being.

"This comes as no surprise to us," van Overdijk said.

"In any case, there is now clarity for the entire sector until September 1. We await possible developments from the management of Formula 1 and the FIA. 

"We hadn't planned anything yet, so we're just taking a second seat.”

 

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