Helmut Marko calls on Mercedes to restore F1’s popularity to heights of Michael Schumacher era | F1
Germany enjoyed an incredible run of success in F1, with Schumacher and then Sebastian Vettel dominating with 11 title wins across a 19-year period.
While Vettel struggled to win over the German crowd like Schumacher did, the sport still flourished, with the German Grand Prix regularly featuring on the calendar up until 2018.
However, since then, Germany has suffered with no grand prix – besides a trip to the Nurburgring in the COVID-affected 2020 season, and Vettel no longer running at the front of the field before retiring at the end of last year.
With no native driver or German GP, it’s no surprise to hear reports that they’re struggling to find a free-to-air TV partner for F1 2023.
Former vice-president of Mercedes’ motorsport activity Norbert Haug described the situation as a “tragedy” and a “shame”.
Mercedes are Germany’s best hope of F1 success, with the Silver Arrows receiving support from an unlikely source in Marko.
“It’s incredible what’s happening in Germany right now,” he told Sport1.“In Austria it is exactly the opposite. F1 is booming more than ever before. The Red Bull team is seen as the Austrian national team and the whole country is cheering on that.”
“That’s why I even hope that Mercedes will be strong again so that the Germans will identify with them.”
F1 boss Stefano Domenicali couldn’t understand why Germany “couldn’t build an event around a grand prix.
“The Grand Prix has to be worthwhile for all parties. We can’t cover all the costs,” he told Bild. “It’s a mystery to me how you can’t build an event around a grand prix these days.
“But if they do well, we’ll have another race in Germany.”