‘Simple as that’: Vettel doubts he will contest another German GP

The German Grand Prix has not officially been on the calendar since 2019, while the last race in Germany was held in 2020.

Sebastian Vettel has conceded he may have raced his final Formula 1 race in Germany amid the shift towards other demographics.

Three races will be held in the United States next season, while F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has previously hinted at the possibility to go up to 30 races and bring more prominence to Africa and Asia.

Germany has not held an F1 race since the Nürburgring played host to the Eifel Grand Prix during the disrupted 2020 season, while there has not been an official German Grand Prix since 2019.

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Mercedes themselves paid for the race in Hockenheim that year as part of their celebration of 125 years of motorsport and 200 race starts.

Vettel won the German Grand Prix in 2013 with Red Bull, and ended on the podium in three others, including the crazy race three years ago.

The exploration of other markets and the impending abandonment of some famous and founding venues in F1 puts the likes of Spa Francorchamps at risk, but there have been rumours that the Belgian Grand Prix could be saved by the cancellation of Russia, while Germany is reported to gain some financial backing.

Should the latter occur though, the 34-year-old fears he will already have left the pinnacle of motorsport by the time it does.

“I don’t know if Germany will make it in time for me but obviously I had the privilege to race in Germany for many years,” he said.

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“I think in the end, if you look at the places we are going, Germany is not prepared to pay that sort of money to have the grand prix. Simple as that.”

Spa’s problems in getting the funds together to host a race were symbolised by the fact that they did not give out any refunds despite the non-event that took place on a weather-affected race day.

However, the fact that big hitters such as Vegas and Florida have entered the fray makes it difficult for more honest and humble venues to compete, so the four-time champion sympathises with them.

“Other regions, other countries in Europe are struggling,” added Vettel. 

“I think Spa is a very good example. And it’s a shame what we saw last year, with the rain cancelling the race and the people not getting a refund on their tickets.

“But to blame Spa I think would be wrong because they are already struggling to make up the money they lose in the first place. So I don’t know, I’m not the developer of the sport and I’m not setting the business plan and the targets.

“But clearly, you can see the places we are going and the new venues we are going, it’s great to explore but it’s also money-driven for the sport, I guess, to develop the way they want to develop.”

While the broadening of horizons and the inclusion of more fans is a positive thing for the sport, Vettel laments the fact that it has left Germany frozen out, while Belgium is hanging by a thread.

“But yeah, it’s a shame losing out in Germany. It would be a shame losing out on Spa. It would be a shame losing out on Spain, which there was a lot to talk about,” explained the German.

“And if those countries are not ready to pay the high entry fees anymore, they will fall off that list and that would be a shame.

“Certainly some races you would think have a guarantee, such as Silverstone, Monza. But I don’t know. We’ll see what happens in the next years.

“It would be great if Germany was back on the calendar, but I doubt it.”

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Vettel sits 14th in the Drivers’ Championship after an eighth-placed finish in Imola earlier in the year.

Both he and Lance Stroll are set to receive upgrades Aston Martin cars at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.