What’s the Future of the German Grand Prix?

May 10, 2017 10:10 pm

The German Grand Prix is an integral part of Formula 1. The sport has had a few teams and multiple drivers of German nationality which makes it very important to have a German Grand Prix. This year’s grid has 3 German drivers with one leading the Driver’s Championship. Last year’s Drivers Champion was a German in a German car which is also leading this year’s Constructors Championship.

German Driver and 4 time World Champion Sebastian Vettel

Since 2006, the German Grand Prix was decided to alternatively take place at the Nürburgring and the Hockenheimring. The Nürburgring was to host the race on odd years and the Hockenheimring on even years as either of the tracks were unable to bear the financial losses of hosting the race with no subsidy from the German Government.

The Nürburgring in Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

The Hockenheimring will host the race next year but track boss Georg Seiler says the future looks bleak for the German Grand Prix. Seiler said,”We will not conclude a contract for the future that involves any risks. From an economic point of view, we had to accept losses through formula one, which had a significant impact on our results in recent years. We also do not get a single euro of subsidy from the region, country, federation or anyone else, unlike just about every other race track.

“If the basic conditions do not change, the future of Formula One in Germany is certainly at risk. If we can at least break even, that would be alright. But if there is no more Formula One, then so be it. However I hope and firmly believe that the new owners have an interest in having a German grand prix. Germany is an important market for Formula One, no matter what circuit it takes place at.”

Hockenheimring boss Georg Seiler

The Nürburgring changed hands in 2014 and the new owners failed to reach an agreement to host the race further in the odd years that it was supposed to. Hockenheim was also unable to host it in 2015 and 2017 and hence from 2014, the German Grand Prix has become a biennial event.

Chase Carey said in an interview last month that the new owners of F1 feel that it is vital to the sport’s success to have a German Grand Prix every year. He also acknowledged the fact that it is very difficult to reach an agreement with the two current race tracks. He also said that they were in talks with German representatives looking at other alternate tracks to host the German Grand Prix.

The Sachsenring located in Hohenstein-Ernstthal near Chemnitz in Saxony, Germany

The Grand Prix Motorcycle racing or MotoGP, moved to the Sachsenring in 1998 from the Nürburgring and has been the home for the German Grand Prix ever since. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Liberty would make a similar move. The EuroSpeedway Lausitz is an Indy type oval in Brandenburg with a racetrack next to it. It would be a short track as F1 cars wont be racing on the oval section and hence an unlikely destination for F1.

It is safe to say that the new owners are trying to get the German Grand Prix back on the calendar on an annual basis and we can only stay hopeful that at the very least an alternative track can be agreed upon to organise the Grand Prix.

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