Formula 1 in the Netherlands? When and will it happen?

Will Formula 1 in the Netherlands make an epic urban comeback?

The owners of the Formula 1 brand have recently made clear that they are interested in making a return to the Netherlands as part of their racing calendar for the first time since 1985(!). According to, Sean Bratches – F1’s commercial director – has already visited the country to have talks and do research into available options to bring back Formula 1 in the Netherlands.

Back when the F1 was in Zandvoort:

Formula 1 in the Netherlands: Street Racing along the Amsterdam Canals?

According to sources Liberty Media, the new owner of the F1-brand, wants to hold the race on the streets of a large Dutch city – preferably Amsterdam. Even though the latter is understandable, a globally recognized city and mouth watering scenery for a globally televised race, it does seem a bit difficult.

Metropolitan Amsterdam has a whopping 2.4 million population, most of which is closely packed together in and around the city – compressing 800,000+ into the extremely dense city itself. It will likely prove difficult to logistically bring a Formula 1 race into the city without it grinding to a halt completely. On top of which, much of the city is made up out of World Heritage Sites, any damage caused by the race or the events and technicalities surrounding it would be disastrous.

Another great option is Rotterdam, which is much more spacious and who’s Metropolitan Area is about equal to Amsterdam’s municipal borders: 800,000. Rotterdam too allows for some cool imagery – especially its gorgeous Erasmus Bridge and the many skyscrapers that adorn its downtown area along the river banks. Its wide roads also allow for better accommodation of traffic in general but especially racing.

Formula 1 in the Netherlands
Richard Doornbos during a Rotterdam City Racing F1 Demonstration

Another added benefit is that Rotterdam has β€œsome” experience in doing so with the Rotterdam City Racing events which feature F1 demonstrations racing through the streets of Holland’s skyscraper city.

Formula 1 in the Netherlands – When and where?

Despite less ‘brand recognition’ Rotterdam might not be a bad choice, though of course the final choice is in the hands of Liberty Media and the F1-organization if both cities decide to be game, because it will allow for an easier set up and cause much less of a hassle.

Many of the racing experts agree, logistically Rotterdam wins, but you can almost hear Liberty Media’s board of directors snore across the ocean as they dream of helicopter shots of Ferrari’s, Mercedes and Max Verstappen in his Red Bull thundering through Amsterdam. It’s going to be a tough pick, though it’s not entirely unlikely that the capital may even refuse, tourism and general population growth has already greatly burdened the city. It may not want to push passed its limits by jumping into F1 racing.

If so Rotterdam will almost certainly be the place to go for the Formula 1 in the Netherlands, it has ample space and not nearly the overcrowding and tourism issues its Noord-Holland competitor has. Either way it remains to be seen β€œhow soon” the Formula 1 in the Netherlands returns, though it could be relatively soon if all parties involve give green light, what is certain that it has stirred a buzz in Holland. Will Max Verstappen finally race to gold on home soil? We’re excited at the thought!

Bobby Salomons
Bobby Salomons
Bobby Salomons is an Amsterdam-based published author and movie-blogger holding up too many balls to juggle at once. Suffering from Tortured Artist-syndrome he is left with no choice or hope until eventually breaking through.


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