For the 2020 Formula One season, there will be one notable absence from the calendar. 2019 quite possibly was the last time there will be a German Grand Prix for a fairly long time. In other words, F1 will no longer visit the Hockenheimring, in the near future, unless some things suddenly and miraculously works out.
Needless to say, the circuit’s F1 swansong was quite spectacular, as Max Verstappen emerged victorious in a chaotic and rain-affected race. Admittedly, the 2019 race almost never came to pass if it hadn’t been for Mercedes’ financial backing. Sadly, they could not fund it beyond that year, so the German GP will be absent for a while.
What also does not help its cause, is the calendar itself, which currently has a record 22 races. With the likes of Miami and Saudi Arabia also eyeing a berth, finding a slot will be highly difficult.
So, the circuit authorities have taken to finding alternative uses for the Hockenheimring, according to reports. German media have reported that the circuit could now play host to business events, concerts and miscellaneous events, aside from racing.
As per Emodrom Group’s Thomas Reister to RNZ: “The door for the future is not closed. It is only a question of financial terms.”
Is this the end of F1 in Germany?
To make matters worse for the circuit, even the DTM has been forced to cut a potential two rounds to one. The Hockenheimring even surrendered the season-opening rights to the Circuit Zolder.
Recently, Minister of Economic Affairs Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut paid the circuit a visit. She wanted to discuss financial support for the city of Hockenheim and the future of its circuit.
“The Hockenheimring is an important economic factor for the Rhine-Neckar region, but also for our country,” she said. “However, we welcome the intention to break new ground and to build a future technology-open mobility center here.”