MARCH 31, 2015
German GP demise serious for F1 nation
Norbert Haug has lamented the demise of Germany's historic grand prix.
"It does not send the right signals about the car industry in Germany," the former Mercedes chief told the Sudwestrundfunk broadcaster.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that "money" was the stumbling block as he negotiated with the Nurburgring and Hockenheim about keeping the July 19 race on this year's calendar.
2015 will be Germany's first absence from the annual schedule for six decades.
"Germany is a formula one nation," Haug insisted, "and not just because there was a race. This is serious," he lamented.
Indeed, F1 has a German quadruple world champion as well as a leading manufacturer and engine supplier that is also the reigning title winner.
Haug saves some of the blame for the race's demise on the organisers, but also F1 as a whole.
"Football does it right, as the stadiums are full," he said. "Motor sport must come up with something to satisfy the customers."
It is believed Malaysia has renewed its race contract for just three years, rather than the customary five or more, due to concerns about the sport.
Sepang boss Razlan Razali told AFP an example of his worry is the state of the Manor team, having not fired an engine in Melbourne and failing to properly qualify in Malaysia.
"It makes a mockery of the sport, I think," he said.
Another struggling team is Force India, whose deputy boss Bob Fernley said the sport needs a "very in-depth" look at itself to "to make sure it addresses the concerns of the fans, the teams, the TV, the media, the whole group".
"I don't believe that we're doing a good job at the moment at that," he added.