Zandvoort set for 'biggest sporting event' in Dutch history despite reduced fans

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Zandvoort is ready to host the "biggest sporting event in the history of the Netherlands" next month, sporting director Jan Lammers has declared.

The historic circuit was redeveloped and eagerly anticipated its first Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix race since 1985 last year, only for the event to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rather than dampen the excitement, that delay has only increased fan enthusiasm with the Zandvoort section of the Orange Army set to cheer on Max Verstappen in the midst of his epic championship fight with Lewis Hamilton.

On Friday, though, the race did receive a minor setback as a recent spike in Covid cases has resulted in the government restricting attendance to just 70,000 fans per day as opposed to the 105,000 that was expected.

“For me, the glass is two thirds full,” said Lammers in response. “We are just going to do it.

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"The three companies behind the Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, SportVibes and TIG Sports – have decided to invest in the future of F1 in the Netherlands.

“The belief in the ambition to organise the biggest Ultimate Race Festival in the world remains the primary goal for the coming years.

“This year, admittedly in a smaller form, the battle for the World Championship will be fought in a beautiful orange ambience in the stands.”

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Those fans who will be permitted into Zandvoort are set to be informed via email before next Wednesday, and with three weeks to go until the F1 circus rolls into the dunes, Lammers has also reassured that the circuit will be ready to put on a show.

“It is now about implementing the plans that were developed a long time ago," he said.

"About 70 percent of the stands are now standing. Everything is on schedule. Sometimes I think I’m in Indianapolis with all those stands.

“Before there is even one person in those stands, I realise that we are all involved in the biggest sporting event in the history of the Netherlands. And that’s very special.”