SportF1Zandvoort trusts that the "orange army" knows how to...

Zandvoort trusts that the "orange army" knows how to behave

F1 bosses have looked into tightening security and working with promoters of the Dutch Grand Prix to root out sexual harassment, homophobia and racism shown by some Dutch fans at the Red Bull Ring last month. of July.

However, the incidents have continued, and this year some fans have been seen burning Lewis Hamilton merchandise in Hungary.

But Zandvoort’s sporting director, Jan Lammers, says he is not at all concerned by this situation, and believes that the small minority who ruined the experience of many other spectators in Austria will be too “embarrassed” to return to a race. Formula 1.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com, Lammers said: “I think this year we will show that the Austrian thing was an incident started by a few individuals. Maybe it was a few dozen people who crossed the line a bit – then came group behavior and all that.

“So I think those fans in particular are so embarrassed that they may even have stayed home, or been turned on by their friends and family. That was embarrassing. And that’s not how we know the ‘orange army.'”

“During the Olympics and football, Dutch fans are often known for their sense of humour. They don’t take things too seriously and have a lot of fun. So I really think that this time the ‘orange army’ is going to behave in the best way possible.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing waving to the fans

At last year’s Dutch GP there were no such incidents from the fans, despite the fact that Hamilton was locked in a close title fight with Verstappen.

Lammers believes the same thing will happen this weekend, even if there are many more spectators in the arena. “I think they’re going to show what they’re really made of,” he said. “What we saw in Austria… that’s not a true racing fan.”

“In the past, we’ve had the battle between Lewis and Max and I think it was well received. If someone booed someone, especially Lewis, if someone booed a seven-time world champion, then you have to ask yourself what kind of fan you are. .

“It’s a sporty, family environment, and people should act in a sporty, family way. I often say that when our kids go to a party, we tell them to make sure everyone enjoys. I think that approach should be the right here: everyone make sure everyone enjoys.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has also been full of praise for the behavior of Dutch fans last year, although he admits to having some concerns.

“Last year was really an amazing event,” he said. “The energy and the respect was tremendous. But I have to tell the truth… and the truth is that there were some doubts about how the Dutch fans were going to respond.”

“But it was actually the other way around: it was impressive the way they gave a sporty welcome to everyone from Lewis to the Ferrari drivers and everyone else. So thumbs up.”

“That’s a sign of maturity — the maturity that this society needs to move forward. And that’s something we can really share.”


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