What better way to endear yourself to the waning German public than change the regulations over the weekend a few times and then start handing out penalties for obscure, off-track action to German drivers.
It seems that Force India returned the wrong tires to Pirelli after qualifying as the FIA said: “during Q1, tyres without appropriate identification were used”. Who knew? Probably not the German public as most of them weren’t at the race which is a shame as there are three German drivers in the top 10.
Sure, Michael Schumacher isn’t one of them but I think there must be something else going on here. I understand how big Schumacher was to German motorsport fans but to have Nico Rosberg vying for a title, Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari attempting to re-kindle the German/Italian juggernaut and Nico Hulkenberg doing well at Force India, you’d think Germans would find reasons to attend the race.
The German GP was slated to alternate between Nurburg and Hockenheim and as such, it was absent from last year’s grid as the folks at the Nurburgring couldn’t summon the cash. One wonders with attendance down if we will see Hockenheim step in to the role as an annual option again or if Germany will once again be vacant from F1’s calendar.
The Hulkenberg penalty does make you wonder if every infraction should garner grid penalties instead of a hefty monetary fine. Nico will stat one place farther back for the tire infraction and while that’s not a huge impact, it’s probably merit for it not being a grid penalty at all if you could simply assign a fee.