German Formula 1 racing legend Sebastian Vettel has expressed his belief that a German Grand Prix is unlikely to return to the Formula 1 calendar for a significant period. Citing a decline in interest among local fans and sponsors, Vettel’s sentiments reflect the challenges faced by the once-thriving motorsport event in Germany.
It has been a bittersweet period for German motorsport enthusiasts since the last Formula 1 German Grand Prix took place in 2019 at Hockenheim. In that event, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched victory while Sebastian Vettel, during his tenure with Ferrari, finished as the runner-up. Despite being a four-time Formula 1 champion, Vettel has only triumphed once in his home race, and that was in 2013 when he raced for Red Bull.
The Nurburgring was the venue for the victorious German GP in 2020, held amid the COVID-19 disruptions, where Lewis Hamilton secured first place, with Max Verstappen trailing behind. However, it was a different story for Vettel, who finished in a disappointing 11th place, marking his worst performance in front of his home crowd.
The absence of a German Grand Prix in Formula 1 since 2019 is emblematic of the series’ global expansion. In 2019, there were 21 races on the calendar, and Formula 1 originally intended to feature a record-breaking 22-race season in 2020. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a reduction in the number of races to 17.
Despite the record-breaking 24-race calendar set for 2024, which sees the return of the Chinese GP and the Emilia Romagna GP, there remains no place for the German Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel, a stalwart in the world of motorsport, reflects the somber reality when he states, “I think we won’t see a Grand Prix in Germany for a long time.”
Vettel’s comments were made public in an interview with Sports Illustrated, as cited by Sky Germany. He went on to express his understanding of the situation, noting, “I think it’s a shame but I understand why. The decisive pressure from the German automotive industry may also be missing. That’s stupid for fans.”