Major European F1 race could be resurrected with early ‘signals’ sent

Thomas Maher
The start of the 2018 German Grand Prix. Hockenheim, July 2018.

Hockenheim remains hopeful of attracting F1 back, but not at any cost...

Hockenheim’s track manager Jorn Teske has said there is “pressure” for a return of a German Grand Prix.

The Hockenheim circuit dates back to almost 90 years since it first opened for motor racing, although it would be 1970 before the track held its first Formula 1 race.

Over the decades since, the Hockenheimring became a firm fan favourite – the original F1 layout featured massive long straights that displayed the outright sheer power of a Formula 1 car as they slipstreamed around through the trees lining the tarmac, while the revised layout introduced 20 years ago curtailed the straights in favour of keeping the action centred around the stadium section and a newly built hairpin.

But finances plagued the hosting of the German Grand Prix, particularly as the Michael Schumacher effect faded away and well-funded races around the world were introduced to the calendar. The last edition of the German Grand Prix, held in 2019, came about with Mercedes backing as a title sponsor – such funding being necessary for the event to be held again.

With Audi entering Formula 1 in 2026, Hockenheim’s circuit manager Jorn Teske maintains that F1 itself is now eager to organise a return to Germany.

“Of course, at the Hockenheimring, we have a huge interest in Formula 1,” he told German publication Watson.

“It is still the premier class of motorsport and it fits in very well with our history and also belongs here. The fans also want a return to the Formula 1 calendar.”

German Grand Prix “needs partners” for F1 return

But how likely is a return of Formula 1 to Hockenheim? Not very, according to Teske, as a result of the very high fees the circuit would need to pay to F1 to host a race.

“I can’t say that seriously,” he said.

Neither the probability nor an exact timetable. In recent years it has repeatedly failed due to the financial situation. The staging involved such a great risk that we couldn’t take responsibility for it. We cannot jeopardize years of good work with a supposedly loss-making Formula 1 race a year.

“We need partners to be able to organise a race weekend in an economically viable way.

“The big problem is that we – as the Hockenheimring – could not refinance this entrance fee through ticket sales. It would be a negative business.” recommends

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One situation which worked for a while was using both Hockenheim and the equally historic Nurburgring for alternating years – Teske said he believes the pressure for a return to Germany to be high, and is eager to make sure Hockenheim is the circuit used if a decision is made to return.

“The pressure after a German Grand Prix is ​​currently high, so Formula 1 has approached us and wants to talk,” he said.

There are signals from the racing series that something like this is conceivable in the future. But they are signals. No more and no less. If this proves to be the case, the contact will become more intensive again.

“Formula 1 must first decide for itself whether it wants an annual race in Germany. After that, a financial solution would have to be found. Once all of that is in place, we would be very open to a change of direction. My colleagues from the Nurburgring see it the same way. But: If Formula 1 only wants a race in Germany every two years, then I would fight for us to be the chosen track.”

Stefano Domenicali leaves door open for German Grand Prix discussions understands that no significant new talks between Formula 1 and the circuit have taken place, but F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has made it clear that discussions are there to be had if a financial solution can be reached.

“If someone pushes for a German GP, it’s me,” Domenicali told Der Spiegel in late 2022.

“I don’t see any representative in Germany who sits down with us and makes a constructive suggestion.

“We know that the value of a race in Europe is different than in other parts of the world. If you want a Picasso, you have to spend a lot of money for it.

“My door is wide open for any conversation.”