23 Aug 2023 at 19:56
Circuit Zandvoort has taken measures against undesirable behavior in the run-up to the Dutch Grand Prix. In addition to a telephone hotline, there will also be confidential advisers from the GGD to whom people who feel unsafe can report.
“Safety is very important to us,” says circuit director Robert van Overdijk in the run-up to the Dutch Grand Prix next Sunday. “It’s a family event where men, women and children should feel comfortable.”
Last year, social media and the organization received several reports of women being harassed. In the end, two reports were made to the police. The police investigated the reports, but that did not lead to any suspects or arrests.
Visitors who are harassed on the circuit next weekend can address Grand Prix employees on site. If there is no employee in the area, people can send an SMS to number 7171, after which the report will be dealt with immediately.
In collaboration with the GGD, various confidential advisers are also available between 24 August and 8 September. Visitors can report undesirable behavior to them.
This can be done by telephone, but also on the track during the GP weekend. A support center has been set up there where two confidential advisers are present every day. In addition to the confidential advisers and a telephone hotline, contact with the police will also become “even more direct”, the circuit reports.
Last year’s qualifying was interrupted due to a flare on the track. Photo: ANP
Organization reiterates that flares are not allowed
Although the Grand Prix of the Netherlands has been without major incidents in the past two years, last season’s qualifying had to be interrupted briefly. That was because a torch was thrown on the track.
Torches were already banned at that time. Nevertheless, the organization emphasizes that they are not allowed this year either and that they are strictly monitored.
The drivers are also calling for flares to be left at home, mainly because they are physically hindered. “The visibility is very poor, but the smell is also very unpleasant,” Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu told NU.nl.
“It’s a short circuit, less than 5 kilometers long. If a flare is lit on one side of the track, you can just smell it on the other side of the track. I understand it’s strictly forbidden this year, so that should be fine.”
Sporting director Jan Lammers and circuit director Robert van Overdijk of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands. Photo: ANP
‘Make sure you make it pleasant for each other’
Last year’s torch thrower was stopped by fans around him and handed over to security. Also in the run-up to this year’s Grand Prix, sporting director Jan Lammers appeals to the common sense of the public.
“We ask everyone to behave and be aware,” says Lammers. “If you like the sport, contribute something to the event and make sure you make it pleasant for each other. We appeal to that.”
The first free practice for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands starts on Friday at 12.30 p.m. Qualifying is on Saturday at 3 p.m. and the race is scheduled for Sunday at the same time.