German Grand Prix may need title sponsor to stay on calendar
The place of the German Grand Prix on the 2020 Formula 1 schedule could depend on securing a new title sponsor.
This year’s round at the Hockenheimring was only secured as a result of a sponsorship deal with Mercedes, the German automotive giant behind the world champion team, but this is not guaranteed for next season.
Liberty Media, the owner of Formula 1, has an option to extend the hosting contract for 2020, but Jorn Teske, the marketing director of the circuit, believes a title sponsor is need to convince the US company.
He told RaceFans: “There is an option which is not up to us for 2020 for one further year. But for the moment we have no decision if this will be taken or not.”
Teske added: “Even the decision of Mercedes to extend the title sponsorship is a crucial point for them… If Liberty Media [acquires] another new partner interested in title sponsorship in Germany it might be the chance.”
This week’s confirmation of the return of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, on top of the addition of the Vietnam Grand Prix in Hanoi, in 2020, has raised doubts over the future of five grands prix whose hosting contracts expire this year – Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Italy and Mexico.
Teske suspects “at least one of the traditional race tracks [will] have to leave” because of the additions to the calendar.
He continued: “Normally I would say it’s a quite similar situation to last year but it isn’t. It’s similar because we’re in Barcelona [the venue for last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix] and we still don’t know if we have a race next year or not.
“The difference is the expiring contracts of five race tracks. There are many, many rumours around. Probably two of the five circuits are very close to an agreement or even have signed an agreement, which should be Silverstone [in Great Britain] and Monza [in Italy].”
This year’s German Grand Prix takes place from 26 to 28 July.
Doubts over the future of the Mexican Grand Prix have intensified after it was reported that the organisers have been unable to secure necessary funding from the federal government to extend the hosting deal with Liberty Media.
The race in Mexico City returned to the calendar in 2015, after a gap of 23 years.
However, the CIE, the government agency responsible for the Grand Prix, has been denied 800 million pesos ($42 million) by the new government of president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, according to ESPN Mexico.
Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has offered to put up 400 million pesos to maintain the Hermanos Rodríguez circuit, and proposed that the remainder comes from the private sector.
Figures from the previous Mexican government showed that the 2017 Grand Prix generated 14.8 billion pesos in wider economic benefits, making it the most significant sporting event in the country that year.
This year's event is scheduled for 25 to 27 October.