Dutch GP boss tells fans: Let's surprise Hamilton with our sportsmanship

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Dutch Grand Prix chief Jan Lammers is urging fans to "surprise" Lewis Hamilton by showing "sportsmanship" at Zandvoort.

This week, final approval for a full crowd is expected from the government for the delayed return of Formula 1 to the Netherlands for the first time since 1985 next month.

Of course, the event is set to be a sea of orange among the dunes supporting Max Verstappen but there is a worry that, after the events of Silverstone, those fans will show hostility towards Hamilton, as was the case in Hungary before the summer break.

"Sport must fraternize and we must not get hooligan situations like in football," Lammers told NU.nl this week.

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"It's about emotion. You can't make an Ajax fan a Feyenoord fan or vice versa. It's only logical that everyone has their preference.

"But let's deal with it in a civilized way and in such a way that we surprise Hamilton with our sportsmanship and hospitality.

"We're talking about a seven-time world champion who can be compared to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

"You have to greet them with a big round of applause in a stadium and not react to one incident."

That view was echoed by 1996 world champion Damon Hill during the latest F1 Nation podcast.

“Dutch fans, be nice to Lewis, will you?” he said responding to the events of Budapest.

“He’s doing what he’s good at, and it’s going be fun. It’s going to be good. Because we’ve got a lot of listeners in Holland, who listen to us.

“They’re good sports, the Dutch. It’ll be great to have a Dutch Grand Prix, the first-ever Dutch Grand Prix for how many years.”

Zandvoort underwent significant redevelopment in the winter of 2019/20 to once again be F1 ready only for last year's race to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

No doubt Hamilton is ready for the partisan atmosphere he will face but let's hope for everyone's sake that the only stories on the Monday after the race are positive ones.