Karl-Josef Schmidt, CEO of the Hockenheimring GmbH – the company in charge of the German circuit – admitted yesterday that they will most likely turn to governmental funds in order to save the venue. The local community cannot afford spending any more money on hosting an economically-incorrect Formula 1 event.
“The Formula One race is a mega-event, something like a football World Cup. The federal government could do something for it. We have a deadline until the end of March 2009, the financial package has to be in place by then or else there won't be any more Formula One at the Hockenheimring. All those present have a great interest in keeping the race,” said Schmidt.
Hockenheim is currently hosting the German Grand Prix on a race-sharing deal with another historic F1 venue, the Nurburgring. Next year's event will be hosted by the Nuburg-based circuit, with F1 making the switch to Hockenheim the next year.
However, should Hockenheimring GmbH fail to find sponsorship money – from the German government or any other independent investor – the Ring would become the 3rd major venue to disappear from the Formula 1 spectrum in the last year. The Montreal circuit was axed from the F1 calendar in 2009, while Magny-Cours announced F1 quit due to lack of funds.