Due to the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this season’s inaugural Dutch Grand Prix has been postponed till 2021, announced the organisers in a statement.
“The organization of the Dutch Grand Prix, in consultation with Formula 1, has had to conclude that it is no longer possible to hold a race with fans present this year. Therefore, it has been decided that the race will not take place this season and the inaugural race will now take place during the 2021 season. All tickets remain valid for the new race,” the organisers said in the statement.
The race was originally scheduled to take place on May 3 this year but was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus situation. The organisers had previously hoped to find an alternative date slot for the race in the revised calendar of this season’s Formula 1.
However, the plan has failed to materialise as the organisers announced that the first edition of the Dutch GP will now take place in 2021. The motorsport federation FIA and Formula 1 will determine the schedule of the next season and announce the date of the Dutch GP later.
“We were completely ready for this first race and we still are. An unbelievable achievement has been made thanks to all the fans, the companies and the governments involved,” Jan Lemmers, sports director of Formula 1 Dutch GP said.
While Grand Prix organisers elsewhere are looking to stage the races behind closed doors, the Dutch GP officials felt that the first Formula 1 race in the country since 1985 should not be held without spectators.
“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. We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 is likely to be the season opener this year and would be a part of the back-to-back races at the closed Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Styria.