F1 says ’no hurry’ over 2020 Dutch GP deal
"The most difficult phase seems to be over"
There will be "no news" about the fate of the 2020 Dutch grand prix on March 31.
That is the official word from Formula One Management, even though Dutch reports have said the last day of March is the deadline for Zandvoort to ink a race deal with Liberty Media.
Days ago, the municipality of the Dutch beach resort town said it would pledge EUR 4 million towards the funding of the F1 race.
However, it is believed the organisers actually have to raise ten times that much in total.
When asked about the EUR 4m, race boss Jan Lammers told Algemeen Dagblad newspaper: "Just as important as the four million is the signal behind it.
"It is a financial injection, but it also creates confidence to guarantee the other part that is needed from parties who are considering investing," said the former F1 driver.
The signs, though, are positive, and Lammers agrees that the "lack of clarity" about the fate of the 2020 race is "increasingly disappearing".
When asked if a deal is almost done, he answered: "That is not something I would say. But that it is heading in the right direction is a clear yes.
"The most difficult phase seems to be over."
Much has been made in the Dutch press about the March 31 ’deadline’, but Lammers says it has always been more of a "guideline".
"March 31 or April 1 is by no means a crucial make or break date," he insisted.
"F1 normally wants to complete the calendar for next year in June, so logic tells us that it has to be done a month earlier. But we are now opting for F1 to be the leader in terms of statements," Lammers added.
When asked by De Telegraaf newspaper about the supposed March 31 deadline, a spokesperson for Formula One Management said: "The discussions are going in the right direction.
"But there will be no news on March 31. We are in no hurry."