Huge €250m investment at old F1 favourite announced as potential return plans ramp up

Thomas Maher
Race action at Hockenheim during the 2018 German Grand Prix.

Hockenheim has received a shot in the arm after securing new investors and a new shareholding structure.

New investors at the Hockenheimring have ushered in the possibility of a return of the German Grand Prix to the F1 calendar.

Having last held a grand prix in 2019, Hockenheim’s chances of a return to the F1 calendar have been given a shot in the arm as new investors have come on board at the historic race track.

Hockenheim secures new investment amid potential F1 return

On April 24, the municipal council of the city of Hockenheim approved the entry of Emodom Group GmbH into the shareholders of the Hockenheimring, taking over 74.99 per cent of the shares of Hockenhimring GmbH.

The city itself, which had held 94 per cent, together with Badischer Motorsport-Club, which had held the remaining six per cent, will take a step back and retain the other 25.01 pe rcent of shares.

The holding group Emodrom will be joined by investment from other partners – the Timbra group, the Assenheimer Group, the Motorworld Group, Paravan GmbH, Arnold NextG GmbH, and the Wirth Group.

The significant realignment of Hockenheim’s shareholding may lead to the finances now being available to attract Formula 1 back to the circuit over the coming years – even if pursuing F1 is not yet at the top of the list for the new investors.

“The decision by the Hockenheim local council marks a significant step in the strategic realignment of the Hockenheimring,” said Tim Brauer, managing director of the Emodrom Group.

“We are delighted with the trust that has been placed in us and are proud to be part of this pioneering development.

“Since Emodrom GmbH was founded in 2012, we have worked continuously on the modernisation and further development of the Hockenheimring.

“The opening of the Porsche Experience Center in 2019 was an important milestone on this journey.

“The inclusion of Emodrom group holding in the group of shareholders is a further step that will enable us to further strengthen the Hockenheimring as a leading race track and implement forward-looking projects.” recommends

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With the investor group specialising in real estate and project development as well as in the racing and automotive business, the plan is that, over the next five to 10 years, some €250 million will be invested into the Hockenheimring.

Specific plans initially include the expansion of the Porsche Experience Center, the construction of a hotel, and a Motorworld as an attractive attraction for car enthusiasts – these are planned to be completed by 2027.

There are no plans to change the management of the Hockenheimring, with Jorn Teske, managing director and an advocate for the return of F1, remaining in place alongside Jochen Nerpel.

“By joining the company, we not only expect to gain a certain financial clout and implement spectacular and impressive projects, but also expertise in areas that we have not yet covered and unimagined opportunities thanks to the extensive networks of the partners involved,” Teske said.

“We are convinced that the planned projects and construction plans will create added value in the region and further strengthen our reputation as an international racing circuit.”

With the significant private investment taking some of the pressure off the city of Hockenheim as their shareholding shrinks, Lord Mayor Marcus Zeitler said: “I am overjoyed that the municipal council has unanimously approved the signing of the contract for the further development of the Hockenheimring.

“Everyone involved has been working intensively on the matter and the vision for the future for months. Above all, it became clear that our new partners have come to stay! I am convinced that together we will steer the Hockenheimring into a great future. I am looking forward to an exciting and positive collaboration.”

Germany remains absent from the F1 calendar despite having been a historic mainstay for decades with races at Hockenheim and the Nurburgring.

Between 1977 and 2006, Hockenheim was only absent from the calendar once as the Nurburgring played host for the 1985 German Grand Prix.

Speaking earlier this year, Teske spoke about the possibility of a return of Hockenheim, in which he revealed that “if nothing changes” regarding investment, a return of F1 couldn’t happen – that change has now occurred.

“We have already been told that there is a great deal of interest in Germany [from F1] as a location,” he said.

“I also don’t believe that this is just lip service. Of course, key economic figures also play a role for Formula 1.

“However, it is not entirely clear to me to what extent they are prepared to reduce the maximum achievable entry fees. You often hear the question of why it doesn’t work in Germany.

“Our answer is always the same: In other countries, there is cross-financing from third parties. That hasn’t been the case here so far. If nothing changes or Formula 1 isn’t prepared to make major compromises, it can’t work.”

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