F1 forced to consider Dutch GP Plan B

Formula 1’s commercial chief Sean Bratches admits a Plan B has had to be drawn up in case Zandvoort is unable to host the Dutch Grand Prix’s return to the calendar in 2020.

Max Verstappen‘s soaring popularity in his homeland prompted Liberty to push through a return to the Netherlands for the first time in 35 years.

However, the Zandvoort circuit requires extensive renovations before it is fit to host F1 and local residents and activists have opposed the work on environmental grounds.

Although Bratches remains confident that the race will go ahead in the seaside resort as planned, he confirmed alternative arrangements are also being considered.

“I don’t know the exact details of the legal complexities,” Bratches told Nieuwsuur.

“But I think that the people in Holland can handle the problem properly. I have faith in that.

“Of course we have a plan B. We have different options for when we need them.

“But for the time being we have an agreement with Zandvoort and a mapped out path. At the moment I am assuming that we will be there in May and that we will have a race.”

Zandvoort beat competition from Assen for the right to host F1’s return to the Netherlands, the latter having hosted MotoGP for many years.

“We still have good relationships with Assen,” Bratches said. “It is a good circuit with a good reputation. Perhaps we will race there someday.”