Germany in no mood to rejoin F1 calendar


No interest from Germany to get F1 race back Image: Tilke

Germany, in all likelihood, will not return to the Formula 1 racing calendar in the near future – despite promising drivers – the prime reason being the steep initial joining fees.

The ‘kicker’ quoted the 56-year-old Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali as lamenting, “The German Grand Prix holds great significance for me. Unfortunately, Germany is not interested at all to return to the Formula 1 calendar again.”

Formula One is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile.

The German Grand Prix is a race that is currently on the F1 calendar. It was last held in 2019 at Hockenheimring. The first German Grand Prix was held in 1926 at the AVUS circuit in Southwestern Berlin.

The 70,000-capacity Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg is a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine valley near the town of Hockenheim in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, located on the Bertha Benz Memorial Route. Amongst other motor racing events, it has hosted the German Grand Prix, most recently in 2019. The circuit has very little differences in elevation. The circuit has an FIA Grade 1 license.

The Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungsstraße, known as AVUS, is a public road in Berlin, Germany. Opened in 1921, it is the oldest controlled-access highway in Europe. Until 1998, it was also used as a motor racing circuit. Today, the AVUS forms the Northern part of the Bundesautobahn 115.

Domenicali termed as “a shame” and said that he could not believe his ears that the “German market is no longer interested in Formula 1”.

Referring to the German Formula 1 giants, he added, “With Sebastian Vettel (German motorsports racing driver) you have a four-time world champion. And you have Mick Schumacher (German motorsports racing driver), who holds a lot of promise.”

The Italian (read Domenicali) wants to “shake up the German market”.

Stefano Domenicali is an Italian Manager and the current CEO of Formula One Group, replacing Chase Carey. He served the Italian sports car manufacturer Lamborghini as head honcho from 2016 to 2020. He was the team Principal of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team.

Steep fees

The ‘kicker’ further stated that the last German Grand Prix was held at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg in the year 2019. With the Omicron variant hitting hard Germany, the organizers in Germany are in no mood to be a part of the Formula 1 calendar any more citing financial reasons.

Formula 1 was not ringing the cash registers of the German Grand Prix organizers and it was gradually becoming a loss-making business for them as the initial joining fees under the former boss of Formula 1, Bernie Ecclestone, was to the tune of millions. Though there was huge dissent over the steep fees structure in the beginning, the American mass media company Liberty Media Corporation, which holds ownership stakes in Formula One, turned a Nelson’s eye to the whole problem.

African Grand Prix?

Domenicali hinted that Africa might jump on the Formula 1 bandwagon but everything will depend on “how the COVID situation plays out”. He also pointed out that China was “showing huge interest” and that the Chinese motorsport racing driver, Guanyu Zhou, was very “promising”.

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