Sebastian Vettel has hailed this year's German Grand Prix as his best-ever home race despite missing out on the podium and hopes the race can be retained on the F1 calendar for the foreseeable future.
The Ferrari driver missed out on a home race last year when Hockenheim failed to secure the funding to host F1 after the Nurburgring was unable to sign an agreement to host the race for alternate years.
Despite enduring a somewhat underwhelming performance in his Ferrari, eventually finishing fifth and over 30 seconds of the pace of winner Lewis Hamilton, Vettel has declared the German race a success for the sport and the organisers given recent difficulties.
“It's been the best home grand prix I've ever had,” Vettel said. “It's been really nice to see so many people turning up, my point of view is that the ticket prices are too expensive, Hockenheim is also unfair in its layout because you've got all the grandstands next to each other and they're really big.
“But I think today it was packed and it looked great, it's a fantastic atmosphere, unique when you come out of the Turn 10 Mercedes section when you see all the people in the grandstands – all the people there, a lot of German flags, a lot of Ferrari flags, it is very nice to see.”
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The German Grand Prix's place on the 2017 F1 calendar is yet to be confirmed, with the proposed yearly switch between Nurburgring and Hockenheim expected to return, and Vettel hopes the race can be retained to ensure he won't have to wait another two years for his next home round.
“Obviously I'd like to come back in two years and be a lot more competitive and have a much stronger race,” he added. “I think it's been one of the best races despite being German, but in terms of atmosphere to see how many people turned up, I think there was a lot of doubt beforehand.”
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