Despite 2 thrillers, German GP may drop off 2020 F1 calendar - GulfToday

Despite 2 thrillers, German GP may drop off 2020 F1 calendar

Formula One

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crosses the line to win the F1 German Grand Prix in Hockenheim on Sunday. Reuters

HOCKENHEIM: Despite having served up a thriller for the second straight year on Sunday, the German Grand Prix looks likely to drop off next year’s Formula One calendar.

The race, hosted by the Hockenheim circuit which had a deal to host it every alternate year, was already out of contract after last season’s event.

A last minute deal kept it on the 2019 calendar with Mercedes-Benz, parent company of the dominant Mercedes Formula One team, stepping in as title-sponsor but there has been no word on a fresh agreement.

“They are putting a lot of effort in, a lot of passion, and they’re very keen on staying, having the grand prix here,” said Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who grew up down the road in Heppenheim.

“It’s a great show, I don’t think they make any money, I think they lost money last year and thanks to Mercedes they were able to have the grand prix again.

“The problem is Germany is not keen to pay anything,” added the four-times world champion, who got his first taste of Formula One action watching boyhood idol Michael Schumacher at the circuit.

“So you need people from outside, investors. The government is not happy to support,” said Vettel, who went from last to second on Sunday in a race won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Germany used to have two races on the calendar at the height of Schumacher’s success, which boosted the sport’s popularity to new levels in the seven-time champion’s homeland, with the Nuerburgring hosting the European Grand Prix.

Attendance figures have dropped since Schumacher retired, despite Vettel running away with four straight titles from 2010-13 and Mercedes embarking on a run of unchallenged dominance since.


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