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F1 boss hints at German GP return interest amid Audi, Porsche arrival

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has hinted there is interest in reviving the German GP in the future amid the planned arrived of Audi and Porsche in 2026.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15, prepare to lead the field away at the start

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The last German GP was held at Hockenheim in 2019, while the Nurburgring hosted the one-off Eifel GP during the first COVID-affected season in 2020.

The latter event happened only because cheap deals were available to circuits at the time to fill holes on the calendar, but any future event will have to be commercially attractive to F1.

Hockenheim is known to have expressed an interest in filling the September date left open this year by the cancelled Russian GP, although logistics mean that it's impossible to use a European venue immediately before the Singapore and Japanese GPs.

Asked about the possibility of a race in Germany, Domencali made a clear reference to the VW Group's entry.

"The German landscape is for sure a very interesting landscape," he said in a call with Wall Street analysts. "No matter who will be the promoter, we need to see what could be the action, if needed, that we can recover that in the calendar.

"I'm sure if you want to be specific on that, something that could happen soon could be very important [for it] to be back on the calendar."

However, former world champion Sebastian Vettel remains doubtful that one of the German venues can afford to hold a grand prix.

"I think in the end it you look at the places where we are going Germany is not prepared to pay that sort of money to have the grand prix," he said. "Other regions and other countries in Europe are struggling.

"It's a shame losing out in Germany, it would be a shame losing out in Spa, it would be a shame losing out in Spain, which there was a lot of talk about. If those countries are not ready to pay the high entry fees any more, they will fall off that list.

"We'll see what will happen in the next years, but it would be great if Germany was back on the calendar."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15, lead the field away at the start

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15, lead the field away at the start

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Regarding the future F1 schedule, Domenicali insisted that he wants to keep a mix of new venues and more traditional races in Europe.

"We've proven to be as flexible as possible in the COVID situation to maximise the fact that we wanted to have a great championship," said the Italian.

"And then our duty is to make sure that we first of all we are a world championship, and we are investing either with partners, or with us involved directly in that, to make sure that the strategic markets that are becoming crucial will be part of it.

"The US has an incredible boom in the last, I would say, two years. And the duty is to make sure that we can maximise even more the effect on that, but we have other areas of the world that need to be developed, that need to be respected because of the tradition.

"But tradition doesn't mean that it's something given for granted. Tradition is a great base on which we're going to build up a better future. Europe has to stay for sure, with a good number of races in our calendar, they will stay."

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He added: "But we don't have to forget that we want to invest in the Far East world. We have been affected by COVID, but there is a great potential to grow there.

"We have other areas of the world, [such as] Africa, in which we may develop business there. So it's a great moment for us to maximise the opportunities to see what would be the right schedule in the future of F1."

With regard to the specifics of next year's schedule, Domenicali made it clear that 2023 is set to see the start of the planned rotation of some events that will no longer take place every year.

"We were talking about Las Vegas, that will be in the calendar," he said. "Of course, that's the only thing that we have announced for next year. And I would say on the other hand, you will see soon what will be our strategy.

"And we have to respect the process as we discuss. And we're going to announce it not earlier than at the end of summer, because that's something that we want to keep it, and put that in the right way with regard to the local promoters."

He added: "We will not take the out of the equation the possibility to have some places with rotational principle, because that will give a leverage to be multiple markets.

"So as I said, that is really our strategic thinking with regard to our future calendar."

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