Schumacher 'euphoria' topping Vettel fever in Germany
An explosion in the popularity of Mick Schumacher in Germany prompted Hockenheim's organisers to request the track's addition to the 2019 Formula 2 calendar in an attempt to boost ticket sales, which have flagged as Sebastian Vettel has endured a miserable start to the Formula 1 season.
Schumacher burst into the wider consciousness of motorsport in 2018 as he stormed to a title triumph in European Formula 3, earning a promotion to F2 and a spot in Ferrari's Driver Academy as a result.
The 20-year-old has already been linked with a F1 race seat and made his debut in modern machinery at this year's Bahrain test, where he drove for both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo – a potential landing spot on the F1 grid in years to come.
Hockenheimring managing director Georg Seiler revealed to Motorsport-Total.com that pre-sale tickets for this year's German GP are down 8,000 on the same point last year – something attributed to the late deal to secure the race on the 2019 calendar and potentially Vettel's inability to repeat last year's run at the top of the standings.
Indeed, Motorsport-Total asserts: "The interest in the career of the son of Michael Schumacher is gigantic. More people are interested when 'Schumi Jr.' is on pole position in Formula 2 than if Vettel wins a grand prix."
That growing interest in Mick's career led Hockenheim organisers to request a spot on the F2 calendar, although it proved too late to make a change.
The circuit's marketing chief Jorn Teske told Motorsport-Total: "When Mick Schumacher won in Formula 3, the wave of euphoria became visible for the first time, so we said to F1: 'Remember, that would be very important to us if he drives in Formula 2!'
"When it became known that he would be driving for Prema Formula 2, we contacted Liberty once again.
"We received a statement that it would not be possible under the financial conditions to add another Formula 2 race." Although Seiler added: "We could have contributed to a part [of the costs] as well."
Hockenheim's organisers are instead hopeful that Schumacher will make his practice debut at the event for either Ferrari or their affiliated teams, although such a move is yet to be confirmed.
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