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F1 track chief gives major update on legendary circuit return

F1 track chief gives major update on legendary circuit return

F1 track chief gives major update on legendary circuit return

GPFans Staff
F1 track chief gives major update on legendary circuit return

Hopes of a Formula 1 return to Germany will rest on whether hosting a grand prix is financially sustainable, according to a key track chief.

Since 2020, Germany hasn't hosted an F1 race despite having two grade 1 circuits, making it eligible to host one. The two circuits which could host a GP are Hockenheim, located 20km south of the city of Mannheim and the Nurburgring situated in the town of Nurburg in the west of Germany.

However, Germany's chances of hosting a race look doubtful due to F1's persistence in expanding into new markets and a switch from permanent circuits to temporary ones based around a city.

German driver Nico Hulkenberg waves to fans before the start of the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP

There is also the financial aspect, with Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia paying over $50m in hosting fees, according to reports for a spot on the F1 calendar in 2023.

READ MORE: F1 Schedule 2024: Full calendar with all you need to know about every grand prix

"Everyone knows that the new countries can pay different amounts than the traditional European circuits," Hockenheim circuit director Jorn Teske told German publication Auto Motor und Sport. "I don't know to what extent the upward spiral will continue. I don't have concrete figures, after all, we don't talk every week.

"If nothing changes or Formula 1 is not prepared to make major compromises, it cannot work. We have already been told that there is great interest in Hockenheim as a location, and I don't think it's just lip service.

"But it's not entirely clear to me to what extent they might be prepared to reduce the maximum achievable race fees. If nothing changes or Formula 1 is not prepared to make major compromises, it cannot work.

"There was an initiative by Stefano Domenicali who wanted to make [a return of the German GP] a top priority and bring all parties to the table, nothing came of that."

Germany's long F1 history

Michael Schumacher remains Germany's most successful driver with seven world titles.

Germany has a long history of Grand Prix racing, with the first German Grand Prix in 1926 held at the AVUS circuit in Berlin and was won by German Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes.

The Nurburgring hosted the race from 1927 until 1958, with races being held on the circuit's Nordschleife layout, widely regarded as the most challenging race track in the world.

Safety concerns led to the German GP's relocation from the Nurburgring to Hockenheim in 1970, with Jochen Rindt winning from Jacky Ickx on his way to becoming the sport's first posthumous world champion in the same year.

Nurburgring did welcome back F1 during the Covid-19-stricken 2020 season, with the Eifel GP held in early October of that year. A capped crowd of 20,000 were allowed to see Lewis Hamilton match Schumacher's win record on his way to a seventh world title.

For 2024, German fans will be able to cheer on Haas' Nico Hulkenberg as their lone representative on the F1 grid. But there are seeds of growth for F1 in Germany, with Audi set to enter F1 in 2026 as part of its takeover of Sauber and the live broadcast of seven races on RTL who return to the paddock after a sabbatical of one year.

READ MORE: F1 Budget Cap: How much is it in 2024, and how does it work?

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