Hockenheim wants to keep F1 race but "it's not up to us"

Hockenheim wants to keep F1 race but "it's not up to us"
May 24, 2019, 7:55 AM

Hockenheim is still pushing to host a German GP in 2020, but the venue has to wait for the F1 organisation to take up the option that was built into this year's contract.

Hockenheim signed a one-year deal for this season last year, helped by backing from Mercedes.

However, the contract also includes an option for 2020 with similar conditions, which means that, unlike other venues still pitching for a race next season, the financial arrangements were fixed some time ago.

Silverstone, Monza, Barcelona and Mexico City are all out of contract this year, and are still awaiting news of the 2020 calendar.

"Our position is that we would like to have a race," Hockenheim marketing director Jorn Teske told Motorsport.com. "There is an option in place in our contract, which is not up to us. And basically we need to wait and see what will happen.

"We made a one-year agreement for 2019, with this option for 2020 under the same conditions. We were happy with these conditions, but it's not up to us if it will take place or not.

"We had some discussions during the Barcelona weekend. But actually we don't know for the moment. We know that we had a fantastic race last year with a big crowd and an amazing atmosphere at the race track. This led to the race this year.

"And we had the same situation at this time last year, that we didn't know if we had a race next year."

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Teske say that the situation is complicated by the fact that other venues are talking about multi-year deals that start in 2020.

"I don't know the other contracts. I just know the others are not just speaking about 2020, they will probably speak about a mid-term deal, three, four five years. We would like to speak about that as well, but I'm quite aware that under these conditions, we are only talking about 2020."

Teske stressed that Hockenheim would also prefer to have a long-term commitment: "It's not our ideal scenario, definitely not. But it's better to have a race in 2020 to see what we can achieve for a longer term agreement, to win partners, or to get other support from whatever or whomever.

"We would love to have a period of time when we have a strategic planning for F1, and not this year-by-year. It's not easy to make a proper job if you are just getting a deal for one year.

"As I said, we are still in talks. I could not tell you about the percentage, how realistic it is. We out our cards on the table, very open, very frankly, and now we have to see."

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Teske acknowledges that if a German GP is confirmed for 2020 attendance by Dutch Max Verstappen fans would inevitably be impacted by the Zandvoort race, but he downplayed any concerns.

"This might be the case, this is obvious. We don't believe we'll have no Dutch fans any more. We know that they travel a lot.

"It might be a little bit less than we have now, but this is not a decisive point for us. Maybe there are other new fans from other countries – Robert Kubica bringing Polish people to us – so this is not a point where we'll be concerned."

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Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
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