Horner: Zandvoort atmosphere "like being in a nightclub for three days"

Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner praised the Dutch Grand Prix organisers for creating an “outstanding” atmosphere, saying that Zandvoort was “like being in a nightclub for three days”.

Horner: Zandvoort atmosphere "like being in a nightclub for three days"

F1 returned to the Netherlands last weekend after a 36-year absence as Red Bull driver Max Verstappen scored a popular victory in front of his home fans, reclaiming the championship lead.

Having criss-crossed Europe in recent years to cheer on Verstappen, the Dutch fans offered fervent support on home soil as over 70,000 fans formed a sea of orange in the grandstands.

A number of drivers noted how electric the atmosphere was, comparing it to a festival, while the track layout also proved popular thanks to its banked corners and challenging nature.

Red Bull team principal Horner said the race promoters had done “incredibly well” for the first running of the race at Zandvoort, adding to the praise for the atmosphere they had helped create.

"It's an old school circuit, the atmosphere here has been outstanding,” Horner said.

“I think in my entire career I've never heard so much support for a driver. It’s been like being in a nightclub for three days.

“The way that Max has handled that pressure, we've seen it in other drivers at home races, sometimes it can get to them.

“But I think the intensity and the noise has just been insane. I think the way he's dealt with that, he's just focused on his job and the way the team's dealt with that, I'm very proud of [them].”

Dutch fans fill the grandstands with their national colours

Dutch fans fill the grandstands with their national colours

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Verstappen acknowledged after the race that meeting the expectations of the home crowd was always going to be a challenge, but that he had worked hard to ensure he was not distracted by the added spotlight on him over the weekend.

While the race atmosphere proved memorable, Sunday’s on-track spectacle itself offered little in the way of overtaking as all of the top five drivers finished where they qualified.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso argued that uncertainty over tyre life and management forced drivers to be more cautious, while Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto stressed that a grand prix “cannot have everything”. 

“There are circuits that are great because of the car, others because of the race, others may be more of a spectacle, or because of the opportunity for overtaking,” Binotto said.

“I think it's good to have overall a calendar mix of everything, and it's great to come here, as it's great to go to other circuits. Each of them has a unique way of being amazing.

“So I would certainly be happy in the future that we are coming back to Zandvoort, and I'm happy with other circuits.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why the Dutch Grand Prix proved itself as a top-line F1 event

Previous article

Why the Dutch Grand Prix proved itself as a top-line F1 event

Next article

Mazepin: ‘No problems’ with Schumacher ‘but I want to be in front’

Mazepin: ‘No problems’ with Schumacher ‘but I want to be in front’
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021