The Albert Park Formula 1 circuit is a favorite on many F1 fans lists and as we get started this weekend for the 2015 season, there is a nagging issue on the F1 calendar regarding circuits and races—namely, what’s going on in Germany?
According to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, the German grand prix is “dead”:
“The German Grand Prix is dead at the moment,” he says. “It won’t get replaced if it doesn’t happen. As with any race, if it is cancelled it is cancelled. There’s not much we can do.”
That’s not good news if you love the Hockenheim Ring or Nurburgring or the very thought of a German Grand Prix. Imagine the F1 season without a German Grand Prix with German drivers on the grid…it’s odd.
The fact may be that the sport is very expensive but not just for the teams and fans but also the circuit owners and race promoters. Apparently the alternating years program that both German circuits enjoyed is not working int eh case of Nurburgring’s new owners presumably over cash flow issues and this have left F1 with no German race.
The current calendar show 20 races for 2015 but it may very well be just 19 if Germany can’t afford the event. This comes on the heels of a $100m settlement agreement between Ecclestone and Germany over a bribery case last year.
The article does address the notion of the rising costs of F1 and how the impact has mothballed teams such as Caterham and Marussia. The distribution of F1 prize money is weighted toward the top teams and some have suggested a new distribution model for the prize funds. In Mr. E’s inimitable style, he’s chosen his words loosely:
“Yes, absolutely I would be happy to change the prize-money distribution if everyone agreed to it but it’s not going to happen,” he says. “It isn’t fair that the top teams get so much. Lots of things are not fair in this world, though. It’s not fair that kids are starving when other kids are throwing food away.”
The poor kids of F1…sounds like there’s several folks in the paddock these days who are sleeping on couches in Stevenage.
Ecclestone also says he thinks the season is already won and it will come down to an echo of last year’s outcome where Mercedes dominated the proceedings and it was effectively down to tow teammates for the top step:
“I’m sure Mercedes is going to walk it this year, but if they have got two guys in the team that are racing each other it is good. It’s a two-horse race then. If they are both racing like they did last year it is good and I’m happy.”
If Mr. E is happy then perhaps we can be happy with a two-horse race as well? Perhaps but one has to think Mercedes would be even more excited if it could smash it’s competition into dust on German soil for the home team.
Hat Tip: The Independent