Zandvoort circuit director happy with contract extension: “We have set a new benchmark in the world of Formula One”

It was no longer a big surprise to Robert van Overdijk, the circuit’s business manager, that they would also be allowed to stage the Grand Prix at Zandvoort in 2024 and 2025. However, he was very pleased with the news announced yesterday. For others, it was a surprise, Van Overdijk says during “Harlem Today.” Just for the sake of it Radio interview with Harlem 105 He speaks to the international media, who congratulate him very much, but also express their surprise that Zandvoort has won again in Formula 1.

“They were somewhat surprised that we stood up to that competition with other cities in the world wanting to stay on the calendar, or wanting to join it, based on the first two editions,” says van Overdijk, who is very pleased with the result. It soon becomes apparent that Van Overdijk is not only happy, but also proud. ‘Some Grand Prix’ has done it 20 times and we haven’t done it in 36 years. If we can achieve this status after two editions, we can be a little proud of that.”

Listen to the full interview below. The text continues below the pane

Zandvoort Grand Prix organization has He agreed to extend the contract With Formula One Management (FOM), the organizer of Formula 1 racing. In 2021, Formula 1 returns to Zandvoort after an absence of 36 years. The organization already had a contract for next year and now two more years will be added.

“A few years ago, we already announced that we wanted to be the ‘Best Green Award in the calendar’.”

Robert van Overdijk, Business Manager Circuit Zandvoort

One of the crucial factors that prompted FOM to choose Zandvoort is due to the Dutch organization’s sustainability approach. “The FOM also has its own goal with the entire Formula 1 circus, which is to be carbon-neutral by 2030. I think we helped them somewhat in the fact that we already said a few years ago that we wanted to be the ‘Best Green Prize in the calendar’.

According to Van Overdijk, this goal is mainly reflected in their mobility plan. “Last year, zero percent of the regular audience came by car, just teams and officials. A lot of people came by bike or by train. We really made an impression of that in the first edition.” In addition, according to him, the Formula 1 organization is also very pleased with the connection to the local economy, but the entertainment and fan participation also impressed them, he said. “We set a new benchmark in the world of Formula One,” says Van Overdijk.

“The international media, of course, have given us a little praise after the last two editions.”

Robert Van Overdijk

So the international media was surprised, but Van Overdijk himself was not surprised by the extension of the contract. Of course we know how to stand with FOM and the international media, especially after the first edition last year, but also after that The latest versionOf course he praised us a little bit, so we knew we were on the right track.”

cities of the world

According to him, the big difference with other organized cities is that they organize them with three private parties, without a government standing behind them. “If you look at the cities of the world that want to be on the calendar: Madrid, Buenos Aires, Las Vegas next year, they have a government behind them that will do a lot to get them on that calendar,” van Overdijk explains. “In the Netherlands it works a little differently, and the smarter it is that we manage to stay on this calendar.”

“The more Dutch people can see Max close to their homes, the more beautiful and fun it will be”

Robert Van Overdijk

When asked if there was also a high “good luck factor”, Van Overdijk answered without a doubt. “Absolute. But let’s also be honest, fair and fair, the popularity of Max Verstappen, the incredible success that Max has been able to achieve, this is of course number one,” he says. This, of course, is the basis Enthusiasm of fans in the Netherlands”. In addition, he suspects that the way they collaborate with FOM and being a “routine” challenged them to implement a number of changes, “created a good relationship”.

Close to home

As for Max Verstappen, in Van Overdijk’s eyes as “the Netherlands’ greatest ever sporting hero”, it is very nice that Zandvoort will be a Formula 1 stage in the years to come. Home, that was nicer and more fun.”

“We set much higher standards in all areas”

Robert Van Overdijk

The Grand Prix in Zandvoort will not look the same every year, says Van Overdijk, because, he says, “it is not for us to repeat the movements.” It indicates that the event need not be larger as far as it is concerned. “I think we’ve hit our limits, but we’re raising the bar across the board. Whether in entertainment, fan engagement, or sustainability: something has to happen every year that has an impact.” “And, of course, what has a positive effect.”

standard

“I wouldn’t say we would get bored otherwise, because the event is too complex and too big for that, but we also sincerely believe that we should keep that standard position that we’ve achieved within FOM, which we also want to maintain in the coming years and possibly expand. And as far as we are concerned, We have to go an extra mile every year.”

According to Van Overdijk, this extra step also applies to greater sustainability. “In the coming years, the three editions we still have to go to, we will definitely focus on raising the bar on sustainability.”

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