How to save the German Grand Prix ? Few tips

F1 fans - they can handle it, right ?

F1 fans - they can handle it, right ?

The news are full of reports that following the French and Canadian GPs we may soon see the German Formula 1 races go too. This would be sad development in the country that between 1995 and 2006 had been hosting two Formula 1 races per year – the German GP proper at Hockenheim and European / Luxemburg Grands Prix at Nurburgring. Now Hockenheim bosses make it clear that without government money they will not be able to host the race again when their turn comes in 2010. Nurburgring responded saying that their venue is unable to organize the Formula 1 race on annual bases.

Is it really impossible to save the Formula 1 races in Germany ?


According to Der Tagesspiegel the 2008 Hockenheim race ended up 5.3 million Euro in red. I am not really sure how big is this sum considered in Germany. But it does not seem to me like impossible amount of money to be raised. With most of the revenue going to the pocket of Bernie Ecclestone the organizers may have to turn to the fans for more funds. There must however be many ways how to milk more money out of the Formula 1 race goers, here are some:

1) Ticket surcharge and Bernie surcharge on surcharge

Hockenheim has seating capacity 120,000 people. All the organizers need to do is to make sure that all the seats are filled up or at least sold and slap a 44 Euro surcharge on each ticket. If they are not confident they can sell all 120,000 seats, make it 53 Euro surcharge and pocket any profit should more than 100,000 people show up at the gates. And make it very clear that the surcharge is subject to further Bernie surcharges should the FOM insist on annual fee increases. I checked how much the grandstand tickets for the Nurburgring race are for next year – between EUR160 and EUR500, depending on the seat. I expect Hockenheim prices to be within similar range. For sure fans would not mind paying 10% – 30% extra on top of that knowing the money is for good cause – keeping a billionaire happy !

2) Bernie accomodation tax

Leave the ticket prices alone, that may anger the fans. Try something Montreal organizers were contemplating but did not dare to go far enough. Require every fan to stay at least for 4 nights. Whether they stay in hotel or in the camp charge everybody Bernie tax. Let’s make it 13 Euro a night, minimum 4 nights. For this to be successful the organizers again have to be confident about attracting at least 100,000 people in. For sure fans would not mind paying around 50 Euro extra on their travelling expenses knowing the money is for good cause – keeping a billionaire happy !

Bernie tax on hotels should do the trick

Bernie tax on hotels should do the trick

3) Bernie beer tax

Another option is to make it compulsory to drink F1 taxed beer. The actual tax would depend on the level of responsible drinking the organizers would choose to promote. Unfortunately we can’t get the responsible figures for beer from Michael Schumacher or Lewis Hamilton as one promotes don’t drink and drive rum and the other one don’t drink and drive whisky. But let’s say that on the hot summer day 6 nice cold half a liter glasses in 24 hours would do. Make it 6 beers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday + 3 on Thursday as a warm up. That is 21 beers over the course of the weekend. If fathers come with kids below the drinking age, they would have to drink on their kids behalf. All that would be needed is 2.50 Euro tax on each glass and the money issue would be solved. Fans sure would not care knowing they are drinking towards the future of their Grand Prix and keep the billionaire happy in the process !

Drink and save (the Grand Prix)

Drink and save (the Grand Prix)

If the above measures seem a bit too extreme it is always possible to combine the three of them. Who cares anyway as long as the fans come up with the millions for Mr. Ecclestone.

I think we can easily replace Germany with France or Canada or USA, change the amounts a bit and go on from there.

Any other ideas and suggestions for the Formula 1 organizers in countries where governments simply do not find it reasonable to use more and more taxpayers money to satisfy the ever increasing demands of the Formula 1 boss ?

Photos: RedBull/GEPA, FreeRange Stock

6 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Well, many expect that Sebastian Vettel could save the situation, soon or later, but he’s really that good??? Schumi has seen something in him already to say so, it’s right that in RedBull young talents training also (if not, they ever gave him the chance) and this year opinion from the F1 viewers value him a lot. I also think he got nuts, but hopefully he has a drivable car to be able to show that he has bigger ones than the rest. Either, Nico is a good one also for being the next promise, or Sutil but he’s lacking the proper seat, but now with the new support from McLaren-Mercedes technological partner… Who knows??? Does Glock have nuts? Well, surely he didn’t crack them this year, but I do not see him better than his team mate either. And there’s the eternal German candidate, Quick Nick, who’s not that quick lately but owns more experience than nuts.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t take away the German GP ever, after all there’s the home from several constructors and the interest from Bernie should be that they someday decide to enter into F1 at the end. Old Bernie showed that can have stupid ideas (remove the Canadian GP is one good example), but well… not such stupid ones!!

    Yes, for me the measures above are extreme as some terrorism attacks to the crowd. Should be talked which are the real needs from the F1 maintenance yearly, because I do not understand cuttings here and there, how it comes that nobody thought that about organizers? Well, really nobody thought about cutting the spends in money, just somebody thought how to do more money with that measures :)

    Still waiting the decisions from this council, what they wait to tell us something??? HEHE :P

    Kotenoks last blog post..RubberGoat

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      cost cutting… let’s help them to find areas where they can spend less

      • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

        Do not have any real good ideas… There are tracks which host GP’s which doesn’t need big help to save them from economical crisis at all, as the Spanish one, because its hold by private partners and the amount supplied by ht government is always well invested, I do think that other tracks have just few events a year and that’s the main problem. They base their economy in the F1 race once a year (or unknown categories that do not interest to the wide public), that’s why maybe these tracks begin to fail now!! The opportunities to host great events are always little, I do not understand why so many circuits are appearing last years as mushrooms; but for sure hosting an F1 race yearly, when Bernie wants it, has to be a very juicy business, so I understand why everybody wants to host races. Anyway, that is gonna crack someday… I would like to encourage the organizers to spend wisely the money to bring more kinds of motorsport competition to their facilities, this would help to maintain itself their economical situation, bettering the offer to the public.

        By other hand, I do not believe that German tracks have those great problems to survive as they want to make us think… But they shall be already passing the first moments of panic when they began to alternate between Hockenheim and Nürburg track, the incomes aren’t the same for sure and yearly maybe wasn’t such a scary feeling until now, but during a decade they shall notice that the incomes are not that big as before, also lacking a German champion there doesn’t help to bring much people every year to both events…

        Cost cutting could begin with standard parts and components, this I would agree only if the teams have a chance to choose between what they want to build (attached to regulation) and those provided standard components. Secondly, there are too many barriers into get into F1, I do not see when the next team could join the F1 championship, I only imagine when the next team could leave the championship… Since next year the satellite teams are not allowed, but they already are disappeared, but the idea wasn’t really bad. Even if Frank Williams doesn’t share the idea (and I understand why he wants it so), the famous compensation rate could work since the teams could chose what they spend yearly, those which decide to rise their budged in benefit of their improvements should be paying a kind of tax to those teams which decide to spend “little”, and take to the circuits competitive cars with reasonable costs. I’m sure to tell that this would cut spendings when the big manufacturers wouldn’t like to simply gift money to the private teams HEHEHE Otherwise, this would equal the economical situation of those who have too much and those which haven’t enough. That could be called the “Robin Hood” tax :P That’s not a great idea after all, anyway, cost reduction is an utopia in this sport, but something could help to spend it more efficiently.

        Kotenoks last blog post..RubberGoat

  2. meNo Gravatar says:

    “Any other ideas and suggestions for the Formula 1 organizers in countries where governments simply do not find it reasonable to use more and more taxpayers money to satisfy the ever increasing demands of the Formula 1 boss ?”

    yup. the majority of organisers need to band together and all pull out of their respective 2010 contracts together.

    bernie has some tracks in reserve, but he’s stuffed if many leave together.

  3. [...] Around the same time both German F1 circuits came out saying that they may ot have money to hold the Formula One races in…. [...]

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