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Wolff blames Vettel 'hangover' for German GP downfall

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has speculated the recent German domination of Formula 1 has been a key factor in its downfall in the country.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has speculated the recent German domination of Formula 1 has been a key factor in its downfall in the country, contributing to the German Grand Prix dropping off the race calendar for 2017.

For a number of years the German GP has been under threat due to dwindling crowd attendances and frictions between the commercial rights holders and circuits on agreeing hosting contracts.

In 2015 the race was cancelled after the Nurburgring failed to stack up the cash to host the event while Hockenheim was unable to act as last-minute cover.

Next year there will also be no German race and with the French Grand Prix returning to F1 in 2018 it is believed it will act as replacement for the indefinite future.

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Wolff is bemused by the lack of interest in Germany for F1 but believes after the unparalleled success of both German drivers Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel plus Mercedes' recent dominance there is less of an interest for the sport.

“I don't know why there is less interest in the sport but I have a theory that it is a hangover from the years of dominance of Sebastian and Michael and the Germans have won it all,” Wolff said. “It comes in cycles and now there are other sports like football that is of great interest but it might change again with different drivers winning the championship.

“Having a German Grand Prix is part of the history and especially for us as Mercedes with our factories nearby and many fans in Germany so it is important to race in Germany.

“A couple of years ago when the race was not happening we [Mercedes] offered our support both financially and marketing but it wasn't taken up. It hasn't come so far for next season, it is still in the hands of the commercial rights holder.”

The 2017 F1 race calendar remains unchanged from this season aside from the German Grand Prix dropping out, while the French Grand Prix has secured a deal to return in 2018.

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December 10, 2016 5:16 PM

richard: wolff should have said " i blame bernie for german gp downfall". as it was his increasing charges that caused the problem. ever since bernie lost the bidding war for the nordschleife, he has had it in for the german gp!
Oh, so nothing at all to do with the millions of quid he had to pay to the German courts to avoid the bribery rap then? :) I think it may have made the authorities less interested in dealing with him - and you can't really blame them.

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