Home representatives Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg have expressed sadness over the impending exit of the German Grand Prix from Formula 1’s schedule.
Germany first featured on the Formula 1 calendar in 1951 and at the turn of the century held two races a year, one at Hockenheim and one at the Nurburgring.
A new contract came into place in the mid-2000s that resulted in the circuits sharing hosting duties of the German Grand Prix, but the Nurburgring withdrew from the deal after 2013.
Hockenheim hosted the 2014 and 2016 Grands Prix as per the agreement to hold the event in even-numbered years, but that deal expires at the conclusion of this weekend’s round.
Germany will not feature on next year’s Formula 1 calendar and any sign of a new deal with championship chiefs thereafter has not yet been forthcoming.
76 Grands Prix have been held on German soil, fewer than only Italy, and both Vettel and Hulkenberg lamented the current predicament.
“I think the fact that racing in Germany, I’m afraid that probably this is the last time for a while as far as I understand,” lamented Vettel.
“It would be a shame to lose one of the classic races, and the fact I’m literally half an hour from here, where I was born and grew up, means a lot to me.”
Both Vettel and Hulkenberg pinned its impending demise on economics, though the Renault driver also believes the recent success on German drivers has accentuated the situation.
“We are a car nation,” said Vettel. “I think it’s probably to do with the fact generally you have to pay money to get a Grand Prix.
“Other nations are prepared to pay money, fund the Grand Prix, and I think that’s where the main problem is – Germany is not ready to spend money on having the GP to advertise Formula 1, advertise racing, advertise Germany, to attract people coming here..
“I know the track, the people, they work very hard for the event for people to come here and it’s tough for them to actually make some money because simply they have no funds backing them up and helping them from the county, state, or country, financially.”
Hulkenberg commented: “Yeah of course it would be a big shame, Germany being the car nation we are and not have a Grand Prix would be disappointing and sad.
“I guess it comes down to commercial questions, simple as that.
“I think Germany has a very big history in racing and F1 in particular, maybe the nation is a little bit full, or tired, of racing but we’ve always been around for decades, with Michael [Schumacher], Mercedes, Seb, Nico [Rosberg] before.
“I think Germans are a bit spoilt as we’ve always been successful.
“I don’t know if it’s an effect on that but ultimately the commercial aspects played a bigger part.”