Up to 300,000 motorsport enthusiasts gathered in the city centre of Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Sunday to meet their racing heroes. The day included a variety of motor racing forms, from karting to Formula 1.
Since its debut, City Racing Rotterdam has always held Formula 1 demonstrations, which are considered the highlights of the event.
Previous attendees include double world champion Fernando Alonso as well as race winner David Coulthard, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli and Nico Rosberg.
Asked by F1Zone about the importance of having Dutch drivers in Formula 1 for this event, Robert Heilbron, the director of Rotterdam and Moscow City Racing, admitted “it is a must”.
“There are not so many drivers in Formula 1 and we are happy to have one. Without Dutch Formula 1 drivers this event would be different. The Dutch fans comes here for the Formula 1 drivers and even more people watch the sport on TV when there are Dutch drivers racing than when are not.”
“I’m very happy that Giedo van der Garde is in F1 and that he’s also here”, added Heilbron.
For the second year in a row van der Garde entertained the fans with the help of a Caterham F1 car. His compatriot Robin Frijns made his debut in front of his home crowd while demonstrating a Fortec Motorsports Formula Renault 3.5 car, the car with which he claimed the title last season.
“I’ve been driving around the world, in different countries, but never in Holland because we didn’t have a race here,” said Sauber reserve driver Frijns. “It feels like a Grand Prix because lots of people come to watch you doing some donuts and having fun. With this car I wrote history last year and it’s a really good feeling to drive it again.”
Frijns has spent 2013 as Sauber’s reserve driver and taken part in a handful of GP2 races, winning in Barcelona before his funding ran out. He insists that Formula 1 is still his target, although admits it is not easy.
“I have a goal to reach Formula 1 and I’m working on that. It’s not easy, especially these years when money are involved, but I’ll do all I can to be in F1 next year”, said Frijns when asked about his future plans.
City Racing Rotterdam will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2014.