The 2015 German Grand Prix has officially been dropped from this year’s Formula One world championship. The sport’s governing body, the FIA, confirmed the removal of the race today after news broke in the last weeks that the race was set to leave after financial problems hit the Nurburgring circuit.
The Nurburgring had been scheduled to host the German Grand Prix this year as a part of its alternating deal with the Hockenheimring. Talks between the FIA and the circuit broke down over the winter however, which put the event in doubt. A deal was proposed with the Hockenheimring to host the event, but circuit boss Georg Seiler gave up hope of hosting the race a few days ago, citing a lack of time as the preventing factor:
“We have no more hope that the Formula 1 race takes place here,” Seiler said, “We did everything we could in the last few years to make the fans happy. Time has run out to organise the race here. Otherwise, [there was a risk that] the quality of the event would have suffered.”
The last time that a Formula One season failed to feature a German round was in 1960, but the German event has had historic links to the sport since the pre-war years at the fearsome AVUS circuit; a track comprising of two 6-mile straights linked by a pair of hairpins at each end. Germany first appeared on the official Formula One calendar in 1960 with an event at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Following Niki Lauda’s near death crash in 1976, the event was moved full-time to the Hockenheimring from 1977. The Nurburgring returned as a European Grand Prix on the current Grand Prix circuit in 1984 and made a one-off return to hosting the official German round in 1985. The two German circuits featured on the calendar as separate events until 2007; when a deal was announced for the tracks to alternate year-by-year.
The German Grand Prix’s absence means that the 2015 Formula One world championship now comprises of 19 rounds; with a 3 week gap between the British Grand Prix on July 5th and the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 26th. The event is expected to return next year at the Hockenheimring.