Historic return of Formula 1 to Zandvoort

The return of the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix to Zandvoort has been a success. Together with all parties involved, history was written. On the renovated circuit of CM.com Circuit Zandvoort a diverse racing program was presented with the ultimate highlight being the Formula 1 race on Sunday, September 5. The inflow and outflow of up to 65,000 visitors went smoothly throughout the weekend, the crowds on the grounds, after tightening up the communication tools, remained manageable and there were no significant incidents. The weekend was festively closed on Sunday with Max Verstappen’s win in Formula 1.

Robert van Overdijk, director of the Dutch Grand Prix is very proud: “For the first time we have experienced the Grand Prix of the Netherlands again. The Netherlands, and Zandvoort in particular, have really been put on the map internationally. I stand here as proud as a peacock that we, together with our fans, partners, suppliers, NS, ProRail and the Municipality of Zandvoort, have achieved something that many thought would be impossible. Thanks to Dutch entrepreneurship and organisational skills, everything comes together at this event and together we have made history.” An estimated 70 million fans worldwide watched the race weekend at Zandvoort via television.

Max Verstappen wins and takes over lead in championship
Many tens of thousands of race fans, mostly dressed in orange, experienced a F1 race at the renovated circuit for the first time in 36 years. Under the watchful eye of the Dutch royal family, Max Verstappen drove to first place on Sunday afternoon. The Dutch driver thus succeeds the last winner of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands in 1985, the iconic Niki Lauda. “The expectations were so high prior to the weekend. It’s not always easy to meet them. It’s great that I was also able to take the lead in the championship,” said Max Verstappen.

Circuit easily accessible

The ambitious mobility plan of the Dutch Grand Prix has resulted in more than expected positive figures. The goal was to become a car-free event in three years, something that was virtually achieved already this year with only 2% of the visitors coming by car. Furthermore, the majority of visitors used public transport or arrived on foot. As many as 34% arrived by bicycle in an impressive orange parade. The event remained very accessible due to this distribution of means of transport and the inflow and outflow also went smoothly on Sunday.
Testing for Access Event
The Dutch Grand Prix took place under the ‘Testing for Access’ protocol, in which the one-half meter rule can be dropped. Before entering the circuit, visitors were checked via the CoronaCheck app. To serve the fans and crew staying in the Zandvoort area for several days, temporary test locations were set up by Tests for Access and GGD.
The organisation of the Dutch Grand Prix sharpened the communication towards the public on Friday, September 3 to ensure a good flow during the breaks. Visitors were also asked through various means of communication to use their fixed seats as much as possible and to give each other space. According to the government services involved, this stricter communication has led to the desired result.
World-class Dutch entertainment
During the event, some world-famous Dutch artists also made their appearance. Singer Davina Michelle created, in collaboration with Armin van Buuren, a remix of the title song ‘Beat Me’ especially for F1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix 2021. And performed it, prior to her performance of the national anthem. DJ Tiësto closed the event in style, with a DJ set on the track.
Dutch pride
Jan Lammers concludes: “What a fantastic weekend, we surprised the world. We look back on a very successful international event with Max as the outstanding winner. As a little boy I grew up in Zandvoort and immediately fell in love with car racing. It’s great to be here now as sports director. From the Zandvoort community I’ve heard nothing but positive noises all weekend. But also as a country we can be very proud. I want to thank everyone for the phenomenal organisation behind the scenes. What a job we have done over the past two years. But it was worth the blood, sweat and tears. We’d love to see this event used as one of the examples that will allow the event industry to get more space again. It was historic.”