Will partners come together to secure Dutch GP funding?


A concerted effort may soon be underway in the Netherlands to try and secure the funding necessary to put the country back on the F1 map in the future.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported last week that Liberty Media is open to a return to the calendar of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Holland also has a selection of major companies involved with F1, such as Heineken, Shell, Randstad, Jumbo, Exact or broadcaster Ziggo.

However, bringing everyone together to provide the necessary funding for an event would represent a potentially massive barrier to overcome.

Zandvoort circuit owner Prince Bernard van Oranje, who is spearheading efforts to bring F1 back to the country, believes Heineken could be instrumental in the realisation of the project.

"As a worldwide sponsor of Formula 1, Heineken would love it if after all these years an F1 race would be held in the Netherlands," John-Paul Schuirink, the beer company's worldwide director of communication, told Algemeen Dagblad.

"We would certainly welcome a Formula 1 race in the Netherlands."

And an insider of the Dutch brewery giant added: "Heineken is a Dutch company, Zandvoort is the beach of Amsterdam and we already sponsor Formula 1.

"It is logical that we would also be in Zandvoort."

Another potential candidate that could possible help support a Dutch GP bid is Shell. The oil giant, and Ferrari partner, announced in June a three-year sponsorship deal with Zandvoort. Could it possibly extend its commercial involvement with Grand Prix racing in the future?

"Shell has been actively involved in motorsport for decades," said spokesman Tim Kezer.  "Our products are tested here under extreme conditions."

Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo, a personal sponsor of Max Verstappen, revealed that it would not sponsor a Dutch GP effort, but Exact Software, another Verstappen backer would be willing to get involved despite its limited resources.

"We are not a multinational like Heineken, but we want to see if there is something that we can do," said spokesperson Jelle Zuidema.

The last Dutch Grand Prix took place in 1985 at Zandvoort and was won by Ferrari's Niki Lauda.

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