Losing German GP from F1 calendar would be wrong – Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel says Formula 1 should make decisions “on common sense”, rather than pure money, amid the uncertainty of the German Grand Prix.
The German Grand Prix was granted a one-year stay of execution for 2019, with Mercedes stepping in as title sponsor, but its future remains unknown.
The Netherlands and Vietnam have been added to a 2020 calendar that could feature as many as 22 grands prix, with Italy close to a confirmed renewal, and Mexico expected to stay.
Spain and Germany had been tipped as the two races to drop from the calendar, but Barcelona’s hopes have been boosted by a report claiming that the local government will help funding.
Officials at Hockenheim have no such hope of government backing and Vettel, who hails from nearby Heppenheim, believes Formula 1 should re-assess its priorities regarding grands prix.
“Obviously I’m not quite sure what’s in the future and whether there’s a chance to keep it, but certainly when it comes to passion and effort people put into this race, it’s pretty high up,” said Vettel.
“I hope they [Formula 1] will make some decisions on common sense and not based on how much the wallet is opening.
“I think we have grands prix that we just mustn’t lose, such as Monza, Silverstone, Germany and Spain, they have a lot of history so it would be a shame to lose those and instead go to a new place where nobody is sitting in the grandstand. For us, it’s dull as drivers.”
Hockenheim could not afford to host the German Grand Prix each year and entered into a race-sharing agreement with Nurburgring from 2008.
Nurburgring withdrew from the agreement after 2013 and Hockenheim was unable to fill the breach in either 2015 and 2017, while the 2019 event was held after being granted a one-year extension.
“They’re very keen on staying, having the grand prix here,” said Vettel.
“It’s a great show, I don’t think they make any money, I think they lost money last year and thanks to Mercedes they were able to have the grand prix again.
“So I don’t know what is the negotiation for next year and how much more money they would need or not I don’t know.
“The problem is Germany is not keen to pay anything. So you need people from outside, investors, the government is not happy to support, unlike in Netherlands or other places we go.
“People always want to make money and profit so it doesn’t help if tracks pay less than others but I think it’s important to bring the sport where there’s passion for the sport, so keep countries like Germany on the calendar, or the UK, those iconic places. That would be my take on it.
“I think it’s more fun for us also to drive in front of a lot of people rather than empty grandstands, even if they are equipped with new seats [which are] useless if there’s no-one sitting on them.”