Last year, the Zandvoort Grand Prix returned to the Formula 1 program for the first time since 1985. But now there are discussions about the event in the Netherlands. A nature conservation organization wants to prevent the race from being held in the future.
Full spectator stands, enthusiasm at all levels and the overwhelming home win of local hero Max Verstappen: One might think that the Formula 1 comeback on the traditional circuit in Zandvoort was a great success.
But critics denounce that when hosting the Grand Prix, consideration for the environment is neglected.
The environmentalists from MOB (Mobilization for Environment) take the position that the released emissions add damage to the sand dunes where the circuit is situated.
Formula 1: is the Dutch GP destroying the environment?
According to a MOB report, the emission values actually measured are higher than those officially stated by the Grand Prix operator. The environmentalists are therefore calling for the permission to hold the event in Zandvoort to be revoked and the race to be moved to another location.
Speaking to the Dutch online portal F1Maximaal, MOB legal advisor Valentijn Wösten referred to the fact that “the legal prerequisite for permits is that there must be no uncertainty about possible harmful consequences for the protected ecology.”
The lawyer also criticized the timing of the dispute: “The debate about moving to a less dangerous place should have been held much earlier. The uncertainty about the future of the racetrack at this location is not good for anyone.”
Grand Prix operators want to ‘do their homework’
Jan Lammers, sporting director of the Grand Prix, on the other hand, is of the opinion that the groups involved are complaining in order to achieve more presence and reach for their topics.
“Obviously we generate a lot of media attention with our GP and that creates an opportunity for the environmental and nature organizations to take advantage of,” said the former Formula 1 driver.
“Obviously we do our best to do our homework and make sure the facts are correct. We’re not trying to tell anyone a story. We’re trying to show through careful work that things are correct,” Lammers said.