Former vice-president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Norbert Haug has spoken out about whether he thinks Formula 1’s European legacy is in danger of being lost as more and more races are organized outside Europe. Haug indicates that he is not so afraid of that, but does think that F1 is losing popularity in Germany.
Germany was one of the most important strongholds in the Formula 1 world. The country managed to produce three F1 champions (Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg) in 22 years. Now the country no longer has a single F1 race on the calendar, and only one German driver, Nico Hülkenberg, is active in Formula 1. Haug therefore does not think that Formula 1 will regain popularity in Germany in the near future. going to win. ‘In the first decade of the 2000s there were two German Formula 1 races a year, each with 100,000 spectators and always more than five million viewers. Today, perhaps ten percent of this number watches Formula 1 on TV,” Haug told DW.com.
According to Haug, smaller countries, such as Austria and the Netherlands, are now Formula 1 strongholds within Europe, especially since Max Verstappen has had one success after another in motorsport. Outside the Netherlands and Austria, attention is increasingly shifting from European races to Grands Prix in the United States and the Middle East. Circuits such as Spa and Monaco are therefore coming under increasing pressure. However, Haug does not think that these legendary circuits will disappear from the F1 calendar any time soon. ‘These races are assured for the long term. As certain as there will be these Grands Prix in the next ten years, there will be none in Germany.”
Ecological footprint Las Vegas race isn’t too bad
The former Mercedes-Benz vice-president not only makes statements about the future of various races, but also about Formula 1 in general. Formula 1 has been trying to become greener for a long time, and the ecological footprints of races are therefore now increasingly under scrutiny. However, Haug does not think that a city race, such as in Las Vegas, has a much larger ecological footprint than the classic circuits. “I’m sure there are fewer cars in Las Vegas during a Formula 1 weekend than during an average weekend, so the impact on the environment is a fraction of what it would otherwise be.”
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