Formula 1 acted like 'lame duck' over German Grand Prix
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, July 25th 2014, 08:51 GMT|
Formula 1 has been accused of acting like a 'lame duck' in not doing anything to prevent a disappointing turnout for the German Grand Prix.
Just one week after the Sachsenring attracted a bumper 90,000 strong crowd for the country's MotoGP event, F1 drew just 52,000 to Hockenheim last weekend.
That low turnout has prompted a demand for answers as to whether the issue is evidence of a decline in interest in grand prix racing or just a German-specific problem.
But Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn thinks that F1 must take blame for not having helped ramp up interest in the race, having received a warning several weeks ago from German GP promoters that ticket sales were poor.
"It is symptomatic for the situation we are in," she said.
"Sometimes I think we are just sitting there and watching. We know what is going to happen and, it is like a lame duck waiting to be shot at.
"We knew already that this was going to happen. We already now can already say that will be pathetic.
"Before the race took place, two races before that, I had the promoter visiting us and at that time he told us how many tickets they had sold.
"Everybody knew - but it is the same topic that we have discussed over and over again - we are not doing anything to change this."
With F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone looking at expanding F1 calendars to new venues like Azerbaijan in the future, Kaltenborn has warned that the sport must be careful in not ending up with a calendar full of venues with no fan interest.
"We go to countries where it might be exciting, like in India for the first or second time, but to establish a sport there is very, very tough," she added.
"If we cannot keep or even reach out to our fans and connect to our people here [in Europe], how should we manage to get new fans where there is not motorsport heritage or history?
"So I think it is really high time that we try to find this connectivity to the people and it has to be through the sport and the show."