German GP dropped from 2015 F1 calendar
Germany will have no Formula One grand prix this year for the first time since 1960 after the sport`s governing body issued a revised calendar on Friday without the July 19 round.
London: Germany will have no Formula One grand prix this year for the first time since 1960 after the sport`s governing body issued a revised calendar on Friday without the July 19 round.
With Hockenheim and the Nuerburgring unwilling to host the race, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) confirmed Germany had been dropped and there would now be 19 rounds with a three week gap in July.
"The German Grand Prix has been withdrawn as the commercial rights holder and promoter did not reach agreement," the FIA said.
The decision comes five days after the season started in Australia but had been expected, with both circuits making their positions clear, despite Germany being the home of world champions Mercedes.
The Nuerburgring had been due to host the race under an alternation agreement with Hockenheim, who hosted it last year, but the circuit has changed ownership and baulked at paying the hosting fees.
Hockenheim, which has a contract for 2016, suffered poor attendances and substantial losses last season after only 52,000 people turned up on race day.
That circuit`s officials were approached by commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone but made clear they were not willing to host the race three years in a row unless they received outside assistance.
Germany has had a grand prix every season since 1960, and during Michael Schumacher`s heyday enjoyed two races a year with the Nuerburgring home to the European Grand Prix while Hockenheim hosted the German GP.
The retirement of seven times world champion Schumacher at the end of 2012, after an unsuccessful comeback with Mercedes, led to a drop in attendances that Sebastian Vettel`s four titles in a row with Red Bull failed to reverse.
The high price of tickets to cover the hosting fees demanded by commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and the return of Austria to the calendar last year have been been blamed as contributory factors for the dwindling crowds.
Germany was one of the sport`s historic races, even if the Nuerburgring and Hockenheim have changed substantially since the early years of the sport, and the country`s absence will be felt by traditionalists.
Monza, Monaco, Spa and Silverstone remain but the championship is increasingly looking to lucrative new markets in Asia and the Middle East.
Azerbaijan, with a race in Baku, is due to debut in 2016 while Russia made its first appearance in 2014 with a grand prix in Winter Olympic venue Sochi.