Start, Hockenheimring, 2014

FIA confirms no German Grand Prix in 2015

2015 F1 season

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Start, Hockenheimring, 2014The German Grand Prix will not go ahead in 2015, the FIA has confirmed.

An updated 2015 calendar issued by the sport’s governing body today said the race had been “withdrawn” as “the CRH [commercial rights holder] and promotor [sic] did not reach agreement”. The race was originally supposed to take place at the Nurburgring, and attempts to relocate it to the Hockenheimring failed.

This year’s season will therefore consist of 19 races. There will be a three-week gap between the British and Hungarian races in July.

It is the first time since 1960 Germany will not host a round of the world championship. There was no German Grand Prix in 2007, but the European Grand Prix was held at Germany’s Nurburgring.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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54 comments on “FIA confirms no German Grand Prix in 2015”

  1. What a shame. Yet another of one of the most important of the European rounds is gone. It will be back next year, though.

  2. NuHockenheim never that good anyway…

    Now the old configuration, that was something!

  3. F1 is broken beyond repair under this management. How come the country which has…

    the biggest amount of drivers in the field
    a 4 times WDC now racing for the biggest name in the motorsport world
    a vice champion racing a German manufacturer
    Which is dominating the sport like no one before

    …cannot afford to put a race together?

    It’s beyond me why they let this sport sink like this, for a short-term profit.

    1. Did you mention EU’s largest economy?

    2. I guess it´s still the “hole” that Schumi left when he retired. Fans never have been that enthusiastic about Vettel, not to mention Rosberg. Ticket prices were horrific last year and a lot of people complain about the new rules and regulations.

      Plus the Nürburgring financial disaster let me understand why they don´t want to take the risk of this GP. We will se a German GP next year but after that I´m pretty pessimistic about the future.

      1. @banana88x, I’d agree that the problem in Germany is that there have been no other German drivers who have been that popular in their home nation since Schumacher.

        The attendance figures have been in decline for a decade – basically, as soon as Schumacher’s most dominant period ended – and only Schumacher’s return reversed the trend in falling attendance figures, with the fans making it clear that they were only coming because Schumacher had come back.

        By comparison, neither Vettel nor Rosberg have any real pull with the German public – people don’t seem to relate to the former, seeing him as having lived a privileged lifestyle that is rather remote from most average Germans, whilst Rosberg is almost regarded as a foreign driver given he is only half German (he’s officially a Finnish-German dual national and originally competed under a Finnish racing licence).

        Equally, the Mercedes team isn’t really identified with as being a national team. The parent company may be Mercedes, but the team itself doesn’t have any real connection with Germany (the staff and much of the culture of the team is British and the team is entirely based in the UK) – it’s really German in name only, and I think most people know that.

        1. racerdude7730
          20th March 2015, 19:24

          I know its sorta irrelevant but are there any stats out there of the attendance figures of the year before MS came back and his first year back with Mercedes? Id love to know if his return made a big difference in ticket sales on those years he returned. Does anyone know this? thanks guys

          1. racerdude7730, so far it’s not been possible to find figures for the races that far back – it’s only really possible to see what happened after Schumacher retired.

            In that case, as soon as Schumacher announced his retirement, ticket sales dropped sharply, with the attendance falling from 59,000 in 2012 to 45,000 in 2013, and although things improved slightly in 2014, the figure of 52,000 is still lower than in 2012.

            @george, Sven is right with the point that it is about how Vettel is perceived (that’s why I said he was seen as having lived a privileged lifestyle) – people tend to point to Mateschitz’s patronage rather than Vettel’s original upbringing in that situation. Whether it is fair is another matter, but that’s the sort of image that he has.

        2. Wasn´t Vettel´s dad a carpenter?

          1. Vettel never really struck me as having a privileged upbringing

          2. Yes, he was. But the general public doesn´t know, there´s just the association F1=privileged.

            There´s just no basis for any other sport than football to live longer in the public eye than a one-person-career. Just like Tennis had its fade-out after the Becker-years (and now barely makes 6-digit-viewing numbers on TV), F1 was always gonna disappear after Schumi. Even if there´s someone who is more successful (Schumi had half as many titles at Vettel´s age) and probably far more likable, F1 is over in germany, and will return to it´s pre-90ies state again, when about 2% of the population were watching and caring.

      2. @banana88x I’ve been to the Nurburgring and those people just go and watch cars go by as much as they can. Be it a racing car or some lame dude like me driving a Suzuki Swift. It’s FULL of people, and if they hear a racing car, they all walk seamlessly towards the track like zombies.

        It’s the prices. The Nurburgring gets plenty of action during the year. From local touring cars to massive 24 hours events at the Nords. I bet they make profits with those events, just to cover the costs of F1.

    3. I wonder how did this pan out – Bernie allegedly offered some kind of help, but not enough as far as the promoters were concerned, but surely there would have been the usual fee paid to the CRH by every organiser so that the net balance of the CRH on the GP was positive.

      I’m just saying this because it would seem quite improbable to me that it’s actually Bernie who would have paid for the GP. And it’s just not clear to me whether the organisers have real problems or it’s Bernie pricing them out of the market by asking for sums which are somewhat comparable to those paid by them Middle-Easterns…

    4. Those Zebras don’t pay for themselves you know..

    5. … maybe they don’t want to?

    6. machinesteve
      21st March 2015, 7:27

      Its simple F1 is an old out of step product. Though I have been watching it since the days of Hunt and Lauda, it has sunk now to represent something past. The cars do not look like ‘now’ they look like they did 30 years ago! Not only that, the sport is the friend of every despot and undemocratic super-rich state and its run by a bunch of city-types with a CEO completely out of touch with the times. If you think its bad now watch what happens over the next 10 years…..if it lasts that long….. Unless, of course, something changes.

      1. You are certainly talking about the FIFA.

  4. What a shame!

  5. But at least we get to go to Qatar soon. Bernie really cares about F1!

  6. Well done, Bernie. Pay yourself another $100 million.

  7. bet hockenheim would have taken on the race if bernie had offered it to them with no fee ; cost to bernie …zillch , he isn’t going to get any fee anyway , is he !
    and it would have helped hockenheim solvent for next year , and given bernie a chance to sign up another country for the year after

  8. I’m very not glad to this. F1 will lose too much with these wrong decisions.

  9. Codemasters better include Hockenheim or Nurburgring as a bonus track!

    1. The Nurburgring hopefully! Although unfortunately I expect we’ll have to revert back to the previous games for those circuits.

    2. I never understood why the game didn’t include historic circuits no longer in the calendar and / or classic F1 cars. I know it is the official F1 game of the season but… it is a game not the actual championship.

  10. Ticket prices. It really is that simple.

    There’s enough support for F1 in Germany but the promoters can’t get the fans to pay ridiculous prices to meet the fees Bernie’s oil rich countries can cough up.

    It will happen at silverstone too.

    When is this ecclestone character going to go away.

    1. @john-h I don’t believe it is a simple case of Ticket prices in Germany as TV ratings are in sharp decline as well & Germany is a country where the TV arrangements have remained unchanged & where everything is still live on FreeTV.

      Its been said on here a few times that RTL & Sky Germany (Who have been Germany’s F1 broadcasters since 1996) have done internal survey’s in whihc the vast majority of viewers they asked said that DRS & the Pirelli tyres were a big part of why they were unhappy with F1. I also saw it mentioned on a German speaking forum that RTL have even spoken to Bernie about there viewers dislike of those things & asked for them to be changed.

      1. Good point RogerA. I guess I’m comparing it to the German football model where you can attend a top level match for less than 20 euros and most of the teams are part owned by the supporters. I think as a sporting nation they must look at F1, see the ticket prices, the DRS, the lack of Schumacher, the tyres, etc.. and opt out as a combination of these things. Of course, Mercedes doing well should at least have some effect but it doesn’t seem to have made a significant impact. We all saw the empty stands last year.

        1. Of course, Mercedes doing well should at least have some effect but it doesn’t seem to have made a significant impact.

          @john-h

          I think part of the issue may be that the Mercedes F1 team isn’t seen as a German team. The cars are designed & built in the UK, The engine’s are designed & built in the UK, Most of the staff are from the UK & the team’s entry & most of its staff was originally Tyrrell, BAR, Honda & Brawn.

          If the team was based in Germany with all the car/engine design/builds been done in Germany I would bet there would be a bit more enthusiasm & national pride.

  11. There is a problem with Formula 1.

    There is a problem with Bernie Ecclestone.

    There is a problem.

    1. Old Man Bernie, “The Godfather of Formula 1” IS the problem.

  12. Awesome. 1 race in 7 weeks.

    Good job promoting the sport during the summer months.

  13. 20 race seasons never come about. Its as if we start the year with loads of races as one or more will drop out. If they had 17 we would end up with 15. If F1 was really popular there would be a reserve list with a few tracks ready to step in with 3 months notice. How many times in the last few years have the number of races reduced from the initial list?

    Surprised Merc did not want to try running a race but it’s an indictment that running race is a loss making exercise nowadays that they did not. If they could not justify getting involved to save their home race how can we expect anyone else to be bothered. Shows hoe out of touch F1 is that they think tracks who are businesses are prepared to make a loss to host their precious races. Sadly only tracks backed by governments desperate to join the Western club through increasing a countries profile can afford the races. This is of course until they see the drastically declining tv viewing figures. F1 sadly is exposed to less people year on year. Footballers now earn as much or more than F1 drivers.

  14. Grand Prix is not the only thing You can’T get in Germany these days, Rammstein know it!

  15. is it really that big a deal?

    german’s dont seem to care about f1 so much now (just look at the decline in fans at the circuits & there tv viewing ratings). michael schumacher was the only reason germany gained so much interest in f1, now he’s retired hardly anybody cares.

    the viewing numbers for RTL last weekend was barely over 1m, over 2m down on last year. and you cannot blame a move to pay tv for that because RTL is a free channel & has been the f1 broadcaster in germany for 30+ years.

    also both the german circuits now are awful.
    hockenheim is a boring circuit that produces dull races & hasn’t deserved to be a part of f1 since they butchered it in 2002. if it were the old hockenheim which has real character & which was unique on the f1 circus i’d be more annoyed.
    same with nurburgring, the ‘new’ nurburgring is a pretty dull circuit & the racing there has never really been that good in the dry.

    f1 is a world championship, its right to look outside of europe just like every other sport has done over the past 20 years.
    if fans insist on only racing in europe or only having a few races outside of europe then may as well rename it to the f1 european championship.

    1. I agree about the circuits, both have been completely neutered. I guess the only reason the Italian GP is still going is for the unique circuit (not just the layout but the surrounding area and atmosphere).

    2. hockenheim is a boring circuit that produces dull races & hasn’t deserved to be a part of f1 since they butchered it in 2002.

      Agreed, I feel it has been one of the poorest circuits F1 has visited since its 2002 redesign. I think because it’s the German Grand Prix it doesn’t get the same level of criticism if it was located in, say, South Korea.

      1. I agree about Hockenheim but not about the other Nürburgring. I really like that track.

  16. Oh man….

  17. I got a solution for this (albeit a crazy one):

    Make the German GP a Non-World Championship F1 Race. Let the rich sponsors and backers of drivers in lower-tier classes pay a fee to the organizers of the GP to make the race happen, and also a fee to whatever team they would like to race for. It’s a win-win situation in the sense that we get a German GP, the teams gets useful testing done and young drivers get a chance to prove themself in F1. Of course I have no idea if this would be a viable solution economically, but as I see it only positive things would come of this. And as F1-fans we wouldn’t go crazy of abstinence because of the long breaks between races in the summer

  18. To sum this up in 1 word….
    Travesty

  19. European races are stupidly overpriced. I’ve just been to the Melbourne race. Less than £100 for a four day general admission ticket. Free regular tram service to all gates. Oh and if you buy now for next year tickets are two for one!

    The track is converted from public roads for one weekend a year vs the European races being at purpose built tracks operating commercially for the entire year. I know it’s subsidised but it just makes European events look like awful value.

    The Brits don’t have a great deal of choice other than Silverstone. But a German making a trip to a Grand Prix has Belgium and Hungary as viable alternatives, it’s no wonder they can’t seek tickets.

    1. Tommy Scragend
      21st March 2015, 9:22

      The Brits don’t have a great deal of choice other than Silverstone.

      We are allowed to cross the Channel, we’ve got a tunnel these days and everything.

      Spa is nearer to London than it is to Munich.

      1. So that’s an example of extreme proximity from Britain and extreme distance from Germany and the travel time would be about the same.

        For myself traveling from Manchester even Northampton is a trek at our national speed limit and for a huge amount of west Germans, Spa is right on their doorstep.

  20. Didn’t they say that Imola would be back the following year also?

  21. Another real failure of the capitalist “owner of Formula 1. Old Man Ecclestone and his accomplices are billionaires but the pinnacle of motorsoport is a mess, with 15 cars in the grid, no fight at the front, and now without a race at all in Germany. The greed and stupidity of Old Man Ecclestone prevents racetracks owners can organize races without losing money or raise ticket prices.

  22. As a half-brit F1 fanatic, living near the ring i think this is just sad.
    Say what you want about declining viewing figures and GP attendance at the German events, this is still one of the great motor sporting nations and not having a grand prix here seems wrong. I was lucky enough to experience the old cars at the 2013 grand prix and was planning to see the race at the Nurburgring this year.
    Well i guess there’s always the 24h race to look forward to. Time for Bernie to pack his bags and go…

  23. What Germany rally needs is an new race track period.

    1. Really not “rally”.

  24. How long is the FIA going to sit around and let Bernie and his partners bankrupt the sport? Teams and classic races are falling by the wayside and being replaced by pay drivers and oil rich nations buying a boring Tilke Grand Prix. F1 is for sale to the highest bidder.

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