Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Zandvoort, demonstration run, 2020

Dutch Grand Prix next race facing postponement over Coronavirus

2020 Dutch Grand Prix

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An announcement that the Dutch Grand Prix will not go ahead on its planned date is expected in the near future, RaceFans has learned.

The race, which was due to return to the F1 calendar following a 35-year absence this season, was scheduled to take place on May 3rd, but has been put in doubt by the spread of the Coronavirus.

The cancellations of the opening four race dates in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China means the Netherlands round is currently slated to be the first event on the calendar. A statement issued by the FIA today said it expects “to begin the championship in Europe on 1st May”. However an otherwise similar statement from Formula 1 said the season will not begin until “the end of May”.

The is understood to be because the Dutch Grand Prix is preparing to announce it intends to reschedule its race for later in the season, if a date can be found.

That would leave the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10th as the earliest race on the calendar which has not yet been postponed or cancelled.

The Zandvoort circuit has been heavily renovated ahead of its return to the calendar this year for the first time since 1985. Max Verstappen drove a Red Bull RB8 around the track in a demonstration run (pictured) after the modifications were completed.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “Dutch Grand Prix next race facing postponement over Coronavirus”

  1. Championship is going to start in Monaco like in the good ol’days.

    1. Hurray!

    2. That would be amazing. Combine that with rain on Thursday practice and we could have a watchable race in Monaco (almost impossible under normal circumstances).

      1. @srga91 apart from the fact that the Monaco Grand Prix normally wasn’t the opening race of the season (quite apart from the fact that Monaco even dropped off the official calendar for several years), and it was in fact quite rare for that to be the case.

        In the history of Formula 1, the Monaco Grand Prix was only the first race of the season a grand total of five times (1959, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1966), and one of those occasions was by accident: the 1959 season was originally meant to open with the Argentinean Grand Prix, but the organisers had to cancel that race due to a lack of funding.

        Even in the pre-war Grand Prix championship era, Monaco wasn’t normally the first official race – that was usually the Indianapolis 500 (that race having the same status as a Grand Prix), whilst the first race that would more traditionally be recognised as a Grand Prix and the first European round was usually the French Grand Prix.

        If you wanted another race to be revived as the traditional opening race, you would look to either Argentina, Brazil or South Africa, which had that honour far more often.

        Alternatively, if you went with the pre-war traditions, then you’d probably have to go with the French Grand Prix as an opening round, or perhaps the United States Grand Prix if you wanted to argue it is a successor to the Indianapolis 500 (and the United States is actually not far off in terms of the number of times it has actually been the opening race of a season when compared to Monaco).

        It also has to be said that, traditionally, the French Grand Prix was normally thought of as the most prestigious race as well, not Monaco – Monaco’s rise is a more modern phenomenon, perhaps because it has become associated with the concept of the “Triple Crown” (even though originally Graham Hill thought of it in terms of the F1 championship and not the Monaco Grand Prix).

  2. “That would leave the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10th as the earliest race on the calendar which has not yet been postponed or cancelled.”
    Spain is one of the European countries where the issue of the coronavirus is being handled the worst by the authorities. Every day there are more infected. It seems to me very difficult that the case can be made on the set date.

  3. Well… looks like my prediction it will be cancelled because of snow this year will not happen.

    Ok, will wait for the next one (though I hope they realize the mistake and hold the race later next season).

    1. Stop saying it will snow in may .. there is NEVER snow in may in Zandvoort!! It is 15 degrees Celsius here right now and it is only begin of march!!

    2. @dallein Could still happen. Races can be cancelled by two reasons when one would have sufficed…

  4. Such a shame really. Was going to be Max’s triumph against the odds.

    1. ForzaAlonsoF1
      13th March 2020, 16:21

      Nah mate, it’s Grosjean’s year!

    2. Lol you mean red bull make sure they set up the car to be fast at that track and slow at most others. Then max literally has only his teammate as competition and we all know red bull will make sure max comes out on top in that situation

      1. You describe the Alonso vandoor e situation.
        That’s ancient history

  5. Most of Europe are taking half measures to fight the Virus… So this virus will go on for months to come….

  6. That’s hardly a surprise given the current circumstances.
    I guess the same goes for Barcelona and especially for Monaco (although it would fantastic to see the 1st race of the season there), considering they need to know 6 weeks in advance for the preparations.

    The most reasonable choice, given the current situation, would be to start the season in Azerbaijan, cancel the summer break and fill it with the cancelled/postponed European races, if possible. The other races are difficult to integrate into the calendar. There is no chance that all of them can be held this year. One or two at most, but definitely not all of them.

  7. I’m really positive about the race being rescheduled. The Dutch Grand Prix is probably the most appealing out of all cancelled options and logistically it’s also one of the easiest. I’ll bet with anyone now that Zandvoort will be rescheduled for the summer break. On the other hand, I’d love to see Vietnam going on later in the season but after seeing how packed the autumn is, I’m not really optimistic. I see one further slot for a possible reschedule, the week between the British and the Hungarian Grand Prix. It would be a triple-header which is not really popular amongst the paddock, but we’re in for the shortest season in the last 15-20 years so I’d give it a try.

  8. The spread of the virus is now pretty much out of control in The Netherlands, with over 800 known cases. They actually stopped testing hospital workers, due to a lack of testing capacity.

  9. Just thinking logistically, The Dutch GP could well be run the week before the Belgian GP, so that’s probably the easiest one of the lot to reschedule.

    1. Stop saying it will snow in may .. there is NEVER snow in may in Zandvoort!! It is 15 degrees Celsius here right now and it is only begin of march!!

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