Eagle-eyed F1 fans may have noticed a key omission from the FIA’s latest 2015 calender – the venue for this season’s German Grand Prix is yet to be confirmed. With the event being shared by Hockenheim and the Nurburgring in recent times, this season should see the sport return to the latter. However, at the time of writing, a contract between the venue and FOM is yet to be penned. As such, there is still plenty of work to be completed before the Paddock Club can board the bus to Germany.
Affordability is becoming an ever-present phrase in Formula 1 newsreels. With two teams falling into administration towards the end of the 2014 season and others declaring their own financial concerns, money is at a premium in many areas. It seems as though circuit owners are now feeling the full-effects of the rapidly soaring expenses associated with the spectacle.
“Formula One has to remain affordable,” stated the Nurburgring CEO Carsten Schumacher, when speaking to crash.net. His plea may have come a few years too late, as the Jean Todt FIA presidency spelled the start of spiraling costs within the sport. Teams have felt the pinch as a result of the new technologies and while this is the best way in which the sport can stay relevant, it has certainly caused internal fractures. Meanwhile, the costs of hosting races has also increased. Monaco remains the only venue on the calender which does not pay a fee to entertain the F1 circus.
Breaking open the piggy bank in order to host a race will typically be seen as a worthwhile investment – after all, there is currently substantial demand from venues to gain a spot on the calender and with the logistical and physical limitations to the size of the season, the sport is grappling with over-subscription. Despite global TV audiences taking another dip in 2014, F1 is still an attractive proposition.
This fact is reflected by Schumacher, who clearly cites F1 as a worthwhile investment. The issue therein lies in the fact that the Nurburgring’s wallet is not quite big enough to pay for the spectacle – a major concern for the many fans who favor old-school venues.
Image Credit: "Nurburgring Mercedes" By VnGrijl (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vngrijl/5989056896/) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons