JULY 7, 2015
F1 ratings improve in struggling German market
Things could be looking up in formula one, mere days after urgent calls were being made to end a 'crisis'.
Indeed, the sport is now entering an unplanned three-week gap between Silverstone and Hungary, because the flagging F1 market in Germany meant that country's race was axed for the first time in decades.
The recent trend in Germany has been for poor attendances and a rapidly-declining television audience.
But suddenly, things are looking up.
It emerges that 5.33 million viewers tuned into terrestrial broadcaster RTL's coverage of the British grand prix -- almost half a million more than in 2014.
And German media reports said the recent races in Canada and Austria were also showing an upward ratings trend.
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg said in his latest column for Bild newspaper: "Despite all the criticism of formula one, I think it is still the best and most watched motor sport in the world."
And F1 legend Niki Lauda, who is also the Mercedes team chairman, said it is time the German team stopped being blamed for the apparently "boring" sport.
"I can no longer hear these stupid discussions," he exclaimed. "The others should make their cars faster rather than complain.
"How is it Mercedes' fault when those at Ferrari throw around spaghetti rather than improving their car on the track?" the outspoken Austrian added bluntly.