Organisers of the Dutch Grand Prix have announced indefinitely that this year’s running of the event will not take place and will be postponed until 2021.
This year was set to end a 35-year wait for Formula 1 to return to the Netherlands at the Zandvoort circuit, with the track undergoing major alterations to be ready in time for the race.
But due to the country’s restrictions on mass gatherings until September, as well as its absence from the revised 2020 F1 calendar, it has been formally cancelled until next year.
Despite the likelihood of F1 races in Europe taking place behind closed doors in 2020, Dutch Grand Prix promoters were not in favour of holding its first race as a spectator-free event with tickets completely sold out.
“Due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix has, as previously announced, been postponed,” a statement from the organisers read.
“The organization of the Dutch Grand Prix, in consultation with Formula One Management, has had to conclude that it is no longer possible to hold a race with an audience this year.
“Therefore, it has been decided to postpone the race definitively to 2021. Together with the motorsport federation FIA, Formula One Management will determine the schedule for 2021 and with that the new date of the Dutch Grand Prix.
“Like every year the date will be announced by the FIA by the end of 2020. All tickets remain valid for the new race.”
Dutch Grand Prix sporting director Jan Lammers added: “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.
“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.”