Future of German GP dependent on success of 2016 race

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The managing director of the Hockenheimring has called on fans to help secure the future of the German Grand Prix by attending next year’s race.

Since 2008, Hockenheim has shared hosting commitments with the Nurburgring, rotating each year to ease the financial burden placed on both circuits.

The race fell off the calendar in 2015 after neither track could reach an agreement with Formula 1, but will return in 2016 at Hockenheim.

However, circuit managing director Georg Seiler has warned that the future of the German Grand Prix will depend on a big turn-out at next year’s race.

“We need a well-filled house next year so that Formula 1 has a future,” Seiler told German news agency DPA.

“We must tell the fans: come to the race next year and secure the future of F1 at Hockenheim.”

The race at the Nurburgring had been due to take place this weekend, but was scrapped after the track was unable to come to an agreement with F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.

Attendance figures have been the biggest struggle for the German circuits in recent years in spite of the success of Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Mercedes AMG Petronas.

Last year’s race at Hockenheim attracted a crowd of just 52,000 fans on race day, leaving the grandstands at the track noticeably bare.

However, dwindling attendance figures are by no means exclusive to the German market. The Austrian Grand Prix experienced a low turnout three weeks ago, whilst tracks such as Spa and Monza have been struggled to get fans through the gates in recent years.

Germany may be one of F1’s most important nations, but the future of its grand prix is far from certain.