F1 links: No more F1 at Hockenheimring

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Almost lost among the flurry of details about the FIA-FOTA agreement and Max Mosley’s decision to stand down, the Hockenheimring circuit in Germany today announced it will not be holding another F1 race:

Formula One news: Hockenheim says goodbye to Formula 1

"The city council saw a loss of 6 million euro in 2008 after hosting the Formula 1 Grand Prix race. The city owns the track for 94% and is no longer willing to invest in F1."

A deal is struck, Mosley agrees not to stand again

"The resolution came after the FIA World Council, chaired by the Deputy President Nick Craw, asked FIA President Max Mosley, commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari representative Luca di Montezemolo to find a solution. The three men then went to a different meeting room and hammered out a deal. Given the terms that were agreed it is fair to say that Ecclestone probably sided with Montezemolo, as the day before the meeting Mosley was saying that he would stand for election for another term of office and continue his legal actions against the FOTA teams."

Crucial meeting underway in Paris

"There were eight world council members at Silverstone on Sunday, the FIA’s David Ward was taking them round and they are reported to have been unimpressed with what they see as FOTA, backed by the manufacturers, attempting to muscle the FIA out of the picture."

Ted Kravitz – the British GP from my perspective

"Webber, who is 3.5 points behind Vettel, is welcoming the team's assertion that they will give each driver equal treatment. Vettel, when we spoke to him on Thursday, was much more of the mind that the team should focus on one driver to attack Button's huge lead in the championship. Horner made the valid point that actually this fight will be decided in qualifying, with the higher-placed driver effectively given the best chance by the team to win. Saturday afternoons will now take on a gladiatorial importance for Webber and Vettel." But don't the team pick their drivers' fuel loads before qualifying?

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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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12 comments on “F1 links: No more F1 at Hockenheimring”

  1. Maurice Henry
    25th June 2009, 1:00

    It’s a shame to hear that another classic European race track is dropping off the F1 calender but in the end it was inevitable.

    They were already US$35 million in debt at the beginning of 2007. To quote from the article in SportsPro magazine March 2009.

    “The future of the German Grand Prix, even on a biennial basis, is in very real jeopardy. The gradual decline in ticket sales, a decline that has steepened somewhat since Schumacher’s retirement, has plunged the circuit even further into debt. Hockenheim’s FOM contract expires in 2010 and many believe the circuit simply doesn’t have the financial clout to push for an extension. Shortly before last year’s race, in july, Karl-Josef Schmidt, the circuit’s MD, insisted that talk of Hockenheim not even being able to fulfil its contractual obligation in 2010 was just hearsay…By December, Schmidt had changed his tune and was adamant that the circuit needed government support.”

    The regional govt of Baden Wuerttemberg did pay US$13 million towards the cost of rennovating the track in 2002, but with revenues from ticket sales in decline and FOM’s fee not being reduced the race starts to make less and less sense financially. The Presient of Baden-W requested an urgent meeting with Bernie to discuss a reduction in the FOM fee in December last year, but no one really expected that to happen. Obviously this is one form of financial arms race that doesn’t worry Max Moseley.

    1. What a pity. These are the consequences of the present status quo in F1.
      The recent agreement of FOTA – FIA has not changed the status quo of who is in control of F1 and who decides where the races are being held.
      The wishes of fans are not taken into account.
      We want Hockenheim, not some empty new track out there.

  2. Yes it is a shame that their will no longer be a race at Hockenheimring, But i have hated the new design of the track, so it’s not really the biggest loss. And Nurburgring is no better. Surely Germany has another option to host F1.
    On another note i wonder if the FOTA breakaway series had been a reality would it have been possible to come up with a deal to help Hockenheim host a breakaway race.

  3. It’s shocking to me that people don’t realize that the current version of Hockenheim has produced some of the best racing this decade in F1.

  4. I’m sorry for the venue, but I didn’t like the track.
    Paul says an interesting statement: it is true. Every Hockenheim GP has shown incredible number of overtaking attempts…but the track is really bad.
    It’a about a chose: do we prefer spectacular tracks or do we prefer “long stright – tight hairpin” tracks?
    I want overtaking, at all, but my vote is for spectacular and technical tracks. I like much more Suzuka than new Hockenheim, just to say…

  5. In my opinion the new Hockenheim wasn’t a bad layout, it’s just the old one, though probably unimaginative, was unique, and just plain better.

  6. Keith, on the Red Bull link, in 2007 when Alonso and Hamilton were at McLaren, the driver who set the fastest time in Q2 got the optimal race strategy. If Red Bull are to carry on treating their drivers equally I guess they will do something similar.

  7. Well, FOTA have said today that they’re going to listen to the fans, so maybe we might see a return to the more traditional venues…

    Oh look a flying pig…:)

  8. That’s the main disappointment in the FIA FOTA agreement, we are still losing the historical places. France and North America already, Belgium on and off every other year, Germany and UK maybe next. Bernie’s still there obviously.

    1. Accidentalmick
      27th June 2009, 18:09

      I am probably being boring because I have said this before. CVC have massive debts so they charge massive fees to hold an F1 event.

      It would be interesting to know what the fee was for Hockenheim.

  9. Great so not only did Tilke butcher the track but FOM basically consigned it’s fate.

    Thanks a lot Bernie you just single handedly destroyed one of the greatest Formula 1 tracks that ever existed.

  10. Anyone who is in doubt of Hockenheim’s downfall should watch some of the grands prix there before Herman Tilke redesigned the circuit in 2002.
    Those long 210mph straights, followed by tight 60mph chicanes, also led to some wonderful overtaking duels over the years. I can remember Aryton Senna back in 1993, screwing up on the first lap and falling down to 16th. It looked like his race was over, but by the chequered flag he was in fourth position.
    Another good example was Gerhard Berger four years later. Great overtaking, in without doubt one of the best drives the Austrian ever produced.
    Rubens Barrichello, in 2000, coming from deep in the field to win the race following a first corner shunt for Michael Schumacher. Barrichello passed Coulthard and Hakkinen, in along with Silverstone 2003, was one of Barrichello’s best races.
    I have to admit, the old Hockenheim was my favourite circuit years ago. The overhead shots of the cars, with the forest just a blur alongside them down the straights, was a sight not seen anywhere else.
    Now the circuits look the same, with only three or four tracks having any personality left or sense of challenge.
    Ofcourse the economy has taken its toll, but that is the same with all of the circuits. The retirement of Michael Schumacher also must have seriously dented the German arena’s attendance figures, which in 1993 numbered 170,000. Think of that for a moment, 170,000!
    When Shanghai and Bahrain can fail to get close to 60,000 spectators in 2009, nearly twenty years later, it goes along way into showing the direction Formula One has gone. A great shame!

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