Spa untroubled by potential Dutch GP competition

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Belgian Grand Prix promoter André Maes isn't worried by a potential return to the F1 calendar of a race in Holland and the rivalry it could generate between the two countries.

Earlier this month, Dutch media reported that Formula One Management had made an offer to Zandvoort to put the Netherlands back on F1's schedule as early as 2020.

The historical circuit's owners have evaluated the feasibility of hosting a Dutch Grand Prix, an ambitious project fueled in large part by the success and popularity of the country's representative on the grid, the intrepid Max Verstappen.

Currently, the young Red Bull driver's fans flock every year to the Belgian Grand Prix at nearby Spa to support their idol.

A return of the Dutch Grand Prix could therefore deprive the Ardennes venue of a massive contingent of spectators.

André Maes, the man who has been at the helm of the Belgian Grand Prix for over three decades, believes any worries are premature.

"It is only natural that we constantly have to fight for our place," he said.

"We do not veto a race in the Netherlands, but we have asked if there are plans.

"If there is a Dutch Grand Prix, they will need at least three years to prepare everything."

Maes, who inked a new three-year deal with Liberty Media earlier this year, will soon be stepping down as the event's promoter, and possibly replaced by either his daughter, who has worked by his side for many years, or Nathalie Maillet, who currently manages the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

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