Lauda saddened by loss of German Grand Prix

Niki Lauda is saddened by the loss of Mercedes' home race - the German Grand Prix - which has been a feature of the Formula 1 calendar every year since 1956.

The race has officially been removed from the 2015 calendar after both the Nurburgring and the Hockenheimring pulled out of hosting it due to financial concerns.

"This is just sad," Lauda told Germany's F1 broadcaster RTL.

This is despite an offer from Mercedes-Benz to cover half of all losses made by the events organisers as well as taking over promotional duties for the race.

"Mercedes tried to help, but it was not accepted. But the conditions are the same everywhere in the world," added Lauda.

"If there is no promoter in Germany that can do what the other countries manage to do to run a grand prix, then this is how it is."

Meanwhile RTL Sport boss Manfred Loppe is hopeful that it will be back next year despite declining TV audiences in Germany which saw just 1.8 million watch the season opener in Melbourne this year, despite free-to-air coverage.

"As the broadcasting network, we are obviously disappointed about this cancellation," said Loppe.  

"The German grand prix was a highlight of the racing calendar for us, so we hope strongly that this is just a one-off."