Is it cash or product quality that’s keeping F1 from Nurburgring?

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A nice piece by Ian Parkes over at AUTOSPORT today had me thinking about the reality of perception when it comes to Formula One Management (FOM) and race promoters. If you consider the words that the CEO of the Nurburgring today and juxtapose those with the continued words from FOM, you wonder which group has it right or is it a combination of the two.

Nurburgring CEO Carsten Schumacher said that they discussed F1 this year and held a WEC event instead which he says was a big success. He also says that that the circuit would and could not bear the risks alone and one would consider they were looking for some government support of concessions from FOM on the sanctioning fees.

What I found interesting int eh article is the comment he made about F1:

“The theme of Formula 1 is not off the table. I hope Formula 1 will return to its former strength, and if the value for money is true, then we will [return].”

Ian does his usual terrific job of covering the story very well but I find the nuance of taking a swing at F1 and suggesting that they might entertain a return should F1 get its act together. Earlier this week I saw a headline that suggested Sebastian Vettel was stumped at the lack of interest from German fans in F1.

I can’t read into an entire nation’s desire or lack of for F1 but I do find it odd and perhaps Carsten’s comments shed light on the feelings of race promoters in Germany as to how they feel F1 is as an investment and a product.

On the flip side, if they don’t have the cash for a race, the is this a simple case of sour grapes? Certainly I would suggest that F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone would suggest that it is.

I haven’t seen the WEC attendance figures for the race there but perhaps it was a good investment for them. My hunch is that the folks at the Nurburgring are leaving F1 off the table for 2016 and perhaps they aren’t too happy about the product it is delivering and fear the ROI would be nowhere near what they would need it to be. Past attendance at the German GP’s does support this notion.

Effectively it comes down to this-

Nurburgring: When F1 gets its crap together, we may be interested.

F1: When the Ring gets some cash, maybe we might return for a race there.

I’ll let you make the call on which is the reality and which is white noise.

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT

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Paul KieferJr

Well, let’s start with these questions:
1. What was Formula 1 like when the Nurburgring first came in?
2. Was Bernie involved in Formula 1 when this happened?
3. Was there something about Bernie that the Nurburgring officials hated?
4. Could it go back to those conditions when the Nurbugring first came in?
5. Was Bernie the sole reason for the Nurburgring officials souring on Formula 1?

Junipero Mariano

Some governments grant funding for something as abstract as “prestige.” The ones that fork over the most seem to be countries that aren’t quite as beholden to their citizens as Germany or the UK. The Red Bull Ring has a huge sponsor that hosts a GP partly for exposure and partly because its owner loves F1. I believe Silverstone and the BRDC must bank on its reputation to win client events that can offset the onerous cost of a Grand Prix. Options exist for monetizing a track outside of F1. For the Nurburgring in particular, 30 dollars per lap of… Read more »

Coji

Assuming you weren’t being rhetorical, my GP experience in Austin 2012 was amazing? Was it worth the grandstand ticket price? Yes, it was. Would I pay for it again? Well, it’s been three more years and I still can’t work enough to make it possible, so that’s all I need to know about experience vs. cost vs. viability. I’ve been to a few IC races and they were great fun. They are much more fan friendly with their pit passes and lower cost tickets. The racing can be just as good but I’m honestly put off by the appearance of… Read more »