In his title race with Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen is still anticipated to benefit from the Dutch Grand Prix.
The organizers of the Dutch Grand Prix are hoping for a large crowd for the race on September 3. Max Verstappen has received a much-needed boost to his title hopes as Dutch authorities suggested that fans would be allowed at the race on September 3 in Zandvoort. Verstappen is presently eight points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
Fears about fan attendance had been growing since Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Dutch government cancelled multi-day music festivals on July 26, with Grand Prix organizers saying they would postpone the return of Formula One to the Netherlands until the 2022 season if fans were limited, despite the fact that they had sold nearly all of the available tickets for the entire weekend.
While the final decision on spectators will not be made until August 13 when Rutte makes an official announcement, there is optimism that the Grand Prix will be held at full capacity.
“On the 26th of July, the government stated that multi-day music festivals will be cancelled,” according to a statement on the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com. To be clear, the F1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix is a sporting event and thus does not fall under the regulation for multi-day must festivals.” This is already the second attempt to bring top-tier racing back to the Netherlands, following the COVID-19 pandemic, which scuttled plans to return to the track in 2020. The last time Formula One was seen in Zandvoort was in 1985, when Niki Lauda won his 25th and last Grand Prix, beating Alain Prost.
The circuit has recently undergone upgrades to assure its safety for Formula One racing, as well as the installation of 90,000 additional seats, bringing the total capacity of the arena to 105,000.
Verstappen, who has seen a 32-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship vanish in just two race weekends, will no doubt be hoping that the massive spectators will give him the extra edge he needs to dominate the track and, indeed, Hamilton. Hamilton overcame a 10-second penalty from authorities for crashing into Verstappen in front of a home crowd of 140,000 at Silverstone to win the race.
After Verstappen’s car was damaged due to a driver error by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas at the Hungarian Grand Prix, he was unable to contend for a podium position and was replaced by Hamilton. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”