WAS THIS THE LAST RACE? The start of the 2014 German F1 GP - could it have been the last F1 GP at Hockenheim? Image: AFP
BERLIN, Germany - Hockenheim circuit boss Georg Seiler has announced that there will be no 2015 German Formula 1 GP, so ending months of uncertainty.
The absence of a race in Germany, home of 2014 Manufacturers' champion Mercedes, for the first time since 1960 will leave the calendar with 19 races. The most recent race was in 2014.
Seiler told Bild newspaper: "We have no hope any more of having an F1 race here (this year). We did everything in the last few years to keep the fans happy."
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had kept the door ajar but Seiler said time had run out because "quality would now suffer" if the track went ahead with what would have been round 10 of the championship.
"We had declared ourselves willing to step in for Nurburgring, something we were contractually not obliged to do," he added. "There were talks with third parties about taking over the risk but they were not successful."
Ecclestone told Reuters on Monday that Hockenheim was the only option for the July 19 race despite it being the Nurburgring's turn under an agreement.
Hockenheim hosted the 2014 GP and is due to host it in 2016 but the circuit has made heavy losses due to poor attendances and was unwilling to shoulder the burden for three years in a row.
The Nurburgring, one of the sport's most historic venues with the original track dating from before the Second World War, also has financial troubles and has changed ownership since it last appeared on the calendar.
German drivers have been among the most successful in F1: Michael Schumacher won a record seven Drivers' titles and 91 races, Sebastian Vettel has four Drivers' titles.
However attendances dwindled after Schumacher, who won five of his titles for Ferrari, retired in 2012 after an unsuccessful comeback with Mercedes.
Only 52 000 people turned up on race day at Hockenheim in 2014 to see Germany's Nico Rosberg win the race for Mercedes. The victory was the first by a German driver in a German car on home soil since the 1930's.
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