Nürburg (dpa) – With an unexpected exit at the Nürburgring, Sebastian Vettel gets a home game in the Formula 1 emergency season.
The race series somewhat surprisingly matched the circuit operators during a guest appearance on October 11, which will be held as the Eifel Grand Prix. The eleventh race of the season is likely to be run for empty ranks. With this, first-class motorsport returns to the Nürburgring after seven years. At the time, Vettel won the Red Bull on his way to his fourth world title, this time the Eifel will be one of the final stops on his farewell tour at Ferrari.
It is the 41st guest appearance of Formula 1 at the foot of the Nürburg. “It is part of our identity,” says Managing Director Mirco Markfort of the German news agency. Above all, the Nordschleife myth made the job legendary. Italian Imola is also making his comeback in the racing series on November 1 after a long hiatus from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Portimao in Portugal makes its Grand Prix host debut on October 25. The races in the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Canada were definitively canceled on Friday.
The operators of the Nürburgring recently could not afford the entry fee for Formula 1 due to financial turbulence. The German Grand Prix was therefore only held at the Hockenheimring. However, Hockenheim was also no longer on the Formula 1 race calendar for this year. Due to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, both German routes were brought up again as the racing series was looking for further suitable jobs in Europe for its emergency operation.
While Hockenheim couldn’t agree on a deal with the Formula 1 bosses, the company came about with the Nürburgring. It is a “very fair and partnership-based construct,” said General Manager Markfort. The Formula 1 deal “doesn’t mean red numbers to us,” he added.
Fans in the stands are not currently scheduled. Given current Corona rules in Rhineland-Palatinate, a viewer calculation would be “economically questionable,” said Markfort. However, they strive to ensure that “a limited number of spectators can still see the motorsport spectacle live on site,” says the Nürburgring.
Minister of Sports Rhineland-Palatinate Roger Lewentz was satisfied with the negotiating success of the organizers, but now expects concrete plans for the Grand Prix. “These have yet to be seen in terms of viewers,” said the SPD politician.
More news from Formula 1
With the confirmation of three more Grand Prix, the race series is getting a step closer to its goal of 15 to 18 Grand Prix this year. In total there are now 13 races on the program. “We are pleased to continue to make strong progress in finalizing our plans for the 2020 season,” Formula 1 boss Chase Carey said in a statement.
The brief cancellation of the Melbourne season opener in mid-March was followed by a hiatus of nearly four months. Formula 1 started in emergency mode in early July and has since raced three World Championships in Austria and Hungary.
Two races will follow in Silverstone, UK. In addition, performances in Barcelona, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Mugello and Sochi are already on the program. Organizers in Russia also want to allow viewers. The season will end with guest appearances in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December. It is not yet known whether two races can be held in Asia in November. Vietnam, China and Malaysia are traded as host cities.