Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey has highlighted the importance of Germany to his plans for the future of the sport.
The first German Grand Prix to be staged as part of the F1 world championship held was held at the Nürburgring in 1951. Hockenheim took over hosting the event in the 1980s and 90s. In recent years the hosting of the race has alternated between the two venues.
However financial problems for the Nürburgring mean that the race was missing from the line-up in 2015, and again from this year’s schedule. It will return to Hockenheim for 2018, and Carey says he wants to ensure the long-term survival of the race in future.
“Germany is very important,” Carey told Die Welt newspaper this week.
“Germany is the largest and most prosperous country in western Europe with a great sports history,” he explained. “Our world champion is German, our constructors’ world champion is German.”
“We would like to build on what we already have in Germany, and an event is obviously an important part of it.
“We need to see where and how we can make it happen,” he added.
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In recent years the sport has been concentrating on expanding beyond its traditional base. But Carey said it was important not to let those plans undermine the sport’s roots.
“We are very clear about growth in America and Asia,” he said. “But the importance of the foundation of the sport is clearly the top priority.
“The foundation of the sport is in western Europe,” he added.
Another threat to Formula 1’s popularity in western Europe is the increasing rise of Pay TV deals. Germany is the latest country to look set to lose free-to-air coverage of the sport.
Carey has previously indicated that he’s not happy with the situation in the UK, where Sky Sports will have exclusive coverage of the sport from 2019 to 2024. However, in this case Carey didn’t want to be drawn on commercially sensitive matters.
“I will not publicly negotiate,” he stated. “Publicity usually leads to disagreement and hinders decision-making and the ability to build genuine partnerships.”
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