The future of formula 1 in germany is more than uncertain. All negotiations about a new contract for the german grand prix have so far remained fruitless. After the race on 22. July at the hockenheimring could be over for the time being.
"I don"t know what will happen next," says georg seiler. The managing director of hockenheimring gmbh takes a new approach to talking to the race series bosses on the fringes of the spanish grand prix at the circuit de barcelona-catalunya this weekend.
Seiler wants formula 1 to return to the hockenheimring after 2019. But he also emphasizes: "we will no longer sign any contract that involves an economic risk. The promotor blood rate is simply too high." Allegedly it should be at 25 million euro. "We are a race track that does not receive any subsidies from the region, the state or the federal government. I would even go so far as to say that the hockenheimring is the only race track in the world that has to be economically self-supporting," says seiler.
Until 2006, one formula 1 race a year was held at the circuit in north baden, plus one at the nurburgring. However, the circuit in the eifel suffered more and more from money problems, the two race tracks agreed on an interplay from year to year. The last grand prix at the nurburgring (so far) was in 2013.
The hockenheimring stayed on as grand prix host. There were also doubts and notes, but somehow seiler and the former formula 1 managing director bernie ecclestone always managed to reach an agreement. "I had a confidential and cooperative relationship with him, even a friendly one. There were always fair negotiations with him," says seiler.
In times when formula 1 is to become an event that also attracts a young audience, and in addition also in metropolises of the world such as possibly in miami from next year or later in buenos aires or hanoi, a circuit such as the hockenheimring does not have it easy. In addition, the number of german drivers is currently at its lowest level since 30 years ago, when michael schumacher and heinz-harald frentzen took to the grid. This year it is sebastian vettel and nico hulkenberg.
A positive jolt through the german fan scene in the future could possibly be triggered by the entry of michael schumacher's son, mick. But this is not yet really foreseeable. This weekend the 19-year-old starts his second season in formula 3 in pau. To make it into the konigsklasse, at least one more year in formula 2 was needed to get the necessary points for the superlicense.
Dreams of the future. The reality at the hockenheimring looks like this: 60,000 tickets have been sold in advance so far. "A thoroughly good number," as seiler puts it. 65,000 to 70,000 spectators expected. "This gave us an economic zero."The problem is that they do not have any advertising rights. "We provide the playing field and others earn the money. In order to organize a formula 1 race in hockenheim again in the future, we need an investor or sponsor."