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F1 in Germany 'a shameful tragedy'

F1 in Germany 'a shameful tragedy'

F1 in Germany 'a shameful tragedy'

F1 in Germany 'a shameful tragedy'

Former vice-president of Mercedes-Benz motorsport Norbert Haug has labelled the state of F1 in Germany "a tragedy".

Following the retirement of Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher's departure from Haas to become Mercedes reserve, Germany will have only one representative on the F1 driver roster next year in Nico Hulkenberg,

Next season will also be the fourth in succession without a German Grand Prix, the longest streak since the inception of the sport.

Speaking to RND, Haug said: “In Germany, Formula 1 has turned into a tragedy that every motorsport enthusiast can only be ashamed of.

"Between 1994 and 2016 there were German world champions like an assembly line - seven titles from Michael Schumacher, four in a row from Sebastian Vettel and, finally, the last one to date from Nico Rosberg in 2016 in the Silver Arrow.

"Mercedes, with its partner teams McLaren and Brawn GP with Mika Häkkinen, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, won four drivers' world championships between 1998 and 2009.

"The Mercedes Silver Arrow factory team was the constructors' world champion eight times in a row from 2014 to 2021, winning six world titles with Hamilton and one with Rosberg.

"For a dozen years, in the late 1990s and 2000s, there were two Formula 1 races a year in Germany, in front of over 100,000 spectators. And on RTL, twelve million interested people watched instead of three million today."

Pointing to the lack of German talent on the grid, Haug added: "In 2010 there were still seven German Formula 1 drivers in one season.

"Today Nico Hülkenberg still has a seat in what is at best a second-rate team and Mick Schumacher is a promising substitute driver - but at least in the right team."

Haug scathing over unambitious German Grand Prix strategy

The German GP is always spoken about when the need for a substitute event has arisen in recent years, with the Nürburgring fulfilling the role with the Eifel Grand Prix in 2020.

It is also possible the country could make use of the mooted rotational calendar in future years and partner with another event for mutual benefit.

But of the current strategy, Haug refused to hide his disgust.

"There hasn't been a German Grand Prix for a long time," he said. "A zealous green auto objector could not have developed a less ambitious and less successful German Formula 1 strategy.

"This specifically excludes the Mercedes Silver Arrow works team, which - correctly - operates out of England and has two - great - English drivers."

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