21 March 2015
F1: Mercedes made cash offer to help save German GP
Mercedes offered to contribute millions of euros to help save the German Grand Prix, a weekend newspaper report has revealed.
Car giant Mercedes-Benz tried to help save the German Grand Prix with an offer to cover half of any losses from its own coffers, a report in this weekend's Observer newspaper has discovered.
According to the London-based paper, Mercedes also said that it would itself undertake the promotion of the race if it was kept on the FIA calendar for the 2015 F1 world championship, which would have further added to the multi-million euro price tag.
The German GP was originally scheduled to take place at the Nurburging, with last-minute efforts to save the Grand Prix subsequently proposing a switch to hold it at the rival Hockenheim circuit instead.
However the attempts to save the race failed despite the intervention by the car manufacturer, and the FIA announced on Friday that the event had been formally dropped from this year's itinerary after "the commercial rights holder and promoter did not reach agreement," to the dismay of teams, drivers and millions of fans alike.
It will be the first time since 1960 that F1 has not staged a world championship race in Germany.
"The organisation of the race calendar and of individual events is a matter for the FIA, the commercial rights holder and the individual promoters," the newspaper report a spokesman from Mercedes as saying.
"In principle, we do not believe it is the job of the competing teams to provide financial support for individual events and we do not believe this is a sustainable model for the future.
"Nevertheless, the German GP is a core race on the F1 calendar and we have a significant interest in this race taking place," the spokesman continued. "Mercedes-Benz has participated in discussions and offered a significant contribution to support a successful German GP, at the Hockenheimring, in 2015.
"This offer was, unfortunately, not accepted."
With Germany playing such a huge role in the history of the global automotive industry, and the recent spectacular achievements of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel in amassing multiple titles during their respective dominant periods in F1, it's no surprise that Mercedes wanted to celebrate its own current spell of success in the sport with a home race in 2015.
Instead the nearest thing that German fans will have to a home event this year will be the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg on June 21. That will take place at the Red Bull Ring which is owned and operated by Dietrich Mateschitz, who also owns one of the Mercedes F1 team's biggest rival teams.
With Germany now no longer on the F1 calendar, attention has now turned to the viability of another of the sport's historic European venues with the annual Italian Grand Prix at Monza also rumoured to be at risk.
France, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Argentina and San Marino all have circuits that played huge roles in the early years of F1 but which are no longer on the sport's calendar. However, F1 does head back to Mexico this year with a return in November to the Hermanos Rodriguez track that not been used for grand prix racing since 1992.
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