Hockenheimring, 2019

Vettel doubts he’ll race at home again before his F1 career is over

2022 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel does not expect that he will race in Germany in Formula 1 again in his career despite rumours the event could return to the calendar.

The expected arrival of premium German brands Audi and Porsche by 2026 has prompted rumours the German Grand Prix could return.

The event has not featured on the calendar since 2019. F1 held a one-off race at the Nurburgring in 2020 – designated the ‘Eifel Grand Prix’ – in order to replace some of the events lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vettel has raced 11 grands prix in his home country during his F1 career and scored a victory at the Nurburgring in 2013. He doubts that a new deal to revive the race will happen before his F1 career ends.

“I don’t know if Germany will make it in time for me,” Vettel said. “Obviously, I had the privilege to race in Germany for many years. I don’t know.

“I think in the end, obviously, if you look the places that we’re going, I think Germany is not prepared to pay that sort of money to have the grand prix. Simple as that.”

Vettel highlighted other major European circuits that are having difficulties being as commercially viable venues for Formula 1 as some of the more recent additions to the calendar like Saudi Arabia and Miami.

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“Other regions, other countries in Europe are struggling,” Vettel explained.

“I think Spa is a very good example. And it’s a shame, what we saw last year, with the rain with the rain cancelling the race and the people not getting a refund on their tickets. But to blame Spa I think would be wrong, because they’re already struggling to make up the money they lose in the first place.

“So I don’t know, I’m not the developer of the sport. And I’m not setting the business plan and the targets. But clearly, you can see that the places we’re going and the new venues we’re going, it’s great to explore but it’s also money-driven for the sport, I guess, to develop the way they want to develop.”

With competition over the rights to host a grand prix only rising with the growing profile of Formula 1, Vettel says he thinks it would be sad to see some classic European races fall off the calendar.

“It is a shame losing out in Germany. It would be a shame losing out on Spa. It would be a shame losing out on Spain, which there was a lot to talk about. And if those countries are not ready to pay the high entry fees anymore, they will fall off that list. And that would be a shame.

“Certainly, some races you’d think have a guarantee, such as Silverstone, Monza – but I don’t know. We’ll see what happens in the next years. But it would be great if Germany was back on the calendar. But I doubt it.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
RJ O'Connell
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28 comments on “Vettel doubts he’ll race at home again before his F1 career is over”

  1. I love how (multi-millionaire) drivers so publicly lament that F1 goes to certain places (and equally leaves certain places) primarily for money.
    Vettel himself could fund a German GP if he wanted it enough – so could a few other drivers in F1. The teams and drivers collectively could certainly put in for one together for what amounts to only a pittance each for many of them.

    But no. They’d rather take their huge wads of cash home and complain that others aren’t paying for what they want.
    The greed is well balanced in F1. Very equally spread.

    1. Chris Horton
      17th May 2022, 9:51

      It’s a bit of an ask for a driver to personally fund a Grand Prix. I know they earn millions but have you seen what it costs to host a race now?

    2. Woah, you have imposed the “lamentation” onto Vettel, whereas he just answered the question he was asked. It’s not like he ever raised the subject on his own. I don’t think he cares that much. And he doesn’t care nearly as much as you assume he does.
      The Austrian GP should be good enough a home GP for the Germans by the way.

      1. …as well as the dutch and belgian GPs.

      2. I’m not just talking about a German GP – he also states his concern about other regular European GP’s and the ones they are being (or may be) replaced by. And he’s not the first driver to say it either – many others have just in the last few seasons alone.
        As I mentioned – if these mega-multi-millionaires are concerned about F1’s direction, they have every option to put their own money into it and influence it’s future. Fund a German GP, or the Belgian GP, or the Silverstone GP or even the Spanish GP if they want it to continue.
        But they can’t expect much to change if they are just expecting others to pay for everything.
        The truth is that others ARE paying – and those others just happen to be in the Middle East.

        1. Unlike a few drivers, Vettel is actually being PAID to drive, not the other way around. Interesting idea, asking him for money. When the company you (let’s assume) work for moves to Saudi, China or wherever, shall you pay them to stay? Also, yes, it’s true, some drivers earn decent money. But that’s nowhere near enough to fund F1 races, Vettel would need to drive for at least a few years to fund a GP. I don’t think you understand that there are different degrees of being rich. Many of us are millionaires (if everything we own is worth at least a million USD, EUR or whatever), but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that that means everyone can afford same things. So when Vettel becomes able to fund German GP without ending in poverty, with a sustainable financial plan, maybe he does it? Who knows, maybe he does not, that choice is kinda personal. Until then I think we all have the right to have opinion, or at least answer a question somebody asked. But nah, there’s always got to be someone taking everything out of context and going into this rant mode.

          1. Vettel would need to drive for at least a few years to fund a GP

            Vettel has driven for more than a few years…. Even won the WDC on four occasions.

            I don’t think you understand that there are different degrees of being rich

            Oh, okay.
            You’re right, poor old Vettel and Hamilton probably line up at the homeless shelter for a bowl of rice every couple of days.
            While they aren’t Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos wealthy, they still have more than enough to make a substantial difference to a F1 event’s bottom line – if they wanted to, of course.
            Unlike the vast majority of people on the planet – many of whom can’t even afford to eat every day, never mind attend an F1 race. Or be paid to do so…

            I think we all have the right to have opinion

            Indeed we do. Hear hear.

    3. How do you consistently make such bad comments? Maybe you are still a teenager.

      1. It’s quite easy to make ‘such bad comments’ when F1 produces such a huge amount of rubbish to write about.
        Teenager? Is that a compliment? I’ll take it.

    4. Hosting a GP is beyond driver money, even Hamilton money. Mercedes hosted the GP in the past and they made sure we heard about their generosity. Not sustainable. The event matched with their celebrations, anniversaries, special livery, clothes but the weather spoiled the perfect event for mercedes, they did at least save face, a littl some points by excluding Sauber

      1. Mercedes hosted the GP in the past and they made sure we heard about their generosity.

        Generosity? That’s funny.
        Had nothing to do with advertising their brand and selling more product….?

        1. A little googling said that a F1 race could cost up to 1 billion dollars. Le Bron James gets about 120 million in a year. Lowest payed F1 drivers get about 0,5 million per season. Max Verstappen gets about 45 million in a year. So Vettel has the money and can help to fund GP’s but I doubt (don’t know for sure) how much money Vettel has spent. I bet he still has some left but how much only he knows. I think he would help get a race back in his home country but as we have seen in many occasions money comes from somewhere else and drivers tend to be ambassadors or otherwise promote the event. That doesn’t mean they can’t give money but most drivers are only saying they would like their home GP to stay or to be organized and that tells something.

          1. 1 billion? isn’t that exaggerated?
            if you count initial capital for track construction, maybe. but single event cost I imagine 30-50 millions

          2. It was google not me

          3. Have to agree with jon snow, the costs I’ve heard before on f1 websites were more in the range of a good driver’s salary than 1 billion.

  2. I would be happy not to get my money back from the Belgian GP if that would meant it could save the Spa for the future races.

  3. Shame that the Lausitzring has had so many problems. Great facility, so much potential. I’d love to see it developed into an F1 track.

    On Board

  4. How popular is Formula One in Germany? It seemed the decline of the German GP coincided with the retirement of Michael Schumacher (the first time around). I can’t help but feel the event relied on Schumacher fans rather than fans of the sport itself. Vettel never seemed to muster the same passion for the fans despite all of his success and, well Mercedes’ success seems to have had no impact. It’s a shame it’s missing from the calendar. Both the Nurburgring and revised Hockenheim are pretty great as circuits and the country itself has such a rich history in the sport.

    1. @tommy-c Remember the German fans at Hockenheim cheering Vettel’s crash? Never realised people could be such big fans of a carmaker (Mercedes).

  5. The reappearance of VAG a n F1 doesn’t make a German GP more likely. The growth of auto sales in volume and value has not been in Europe for a long time. See you at the Xinxiang GP.

  6. There are so many races now that I hadn’t even noticed it was off the schedule. Better Germany than all the brutal dictatorships F1 goes to like Saudi, China, Russia, and Bahrain. There are so many of those now I must be missing a couple.

    1. This 100 times for me.

      As a kid I always looked forward to races so much and never felt there were enough of them. Now, whilst I still look forward to them, I lose track of which race is when, how many races there are, where they are and so on. It’s just a constant stream of F1 on TV, every other weekend for 10 months. On the one hand it’s great, but it devalues the meaning of any particular race. So what if I miss one or two races? This then becomes three or four and before I know it I am missing half the season and even begin to lose track of who’s in the lead… I actually thought this would devalue the brand, but it seems with social media and so on it’s the more profitable option overall.

  7. @darryn you forgot to include the world.

    1. So you’re equating a free and open society like Germany with China and Saudi?

  8. Losing Spain wouldn’t necessarily be shameful, but I see his point & his right about the general situation.

  9. The rumour mill is working overtime that Seb may well not renew his contract, exp. 2022, & retire.
    He is into ‘climate change‘ & allegedly in an interview was not happy that, contrary to his beliefs, he was driving a fossil fuel car.
    Does that open the door for a lease-a-driver Piastri to get a drive, or more far fetched, Alonso, unhappy with the unreliable Alpine, switching to AM for his final days.

    Trivia: Aston Martin has parted company with ex-Merc-AMG CEO, now ex-AM CEO & shareholder, Tobias Moers over what is said to be “strategic differences” with Lawrence Stroll. His sometimes abrasive management style allegedly led to an unacceptable decrease in morale.

    2026 German GP [sponsored by VW???] could be a goer, particularly if Audi & Porsche do start and have at least one German driver each.

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