MIAMI (Reuters) – Germany’s four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel says he does not expect to race in his homeland again before he retires from the sport.
The German Grand Prix has not been held since 2019 and the 34-year-old Aston Martin driver believes the trend in the sport towards new markets, paying higher fees, makes a swift return unlikely.
“I don’t know if Germany will make it in time for me,” Vettel, who is out of contract at the end of the season with his future uncertain, told reporters ahead of practice for Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix.
“I think in the end if you look at the places where we are going, Germany is not prepared to pay that kind of money to have a Grand Prix, simple as that,” added Vettel, who won the 2013 edition at the Nuerburgring.
“I am not the developer of this sport and I am not setting the business plan and the targets but clearly you can see the places we are going and the new venues we are going,” he added, saying the decisions were “money driven”.
“It is a shame losing out on Germany, it would be a shame losing out on Spa, it would be a shame losing out on Spain, which there was a lot of talk about…. if those countries aren’t ready to pay the high entry fees anymore then they will fall off that list and that would be a shame,” he added.
“Some races you think would have a guarantee, Silverstone, Monza, but I don’t know, but it would be great if Germany was back on the calendar but I doubt it.”
Vettel also has some traditional leanings when it comes to F1’s choices in the United States.
The sport has a purpose-built circuit in Austin, Texas, but Miami and next year’s newcomer Las Vegas are temporary tracks in urban centres.
“I think the U.S. has fantastic race circuits with incredible history,” said Vettel.
“Certainly the money that was spent to build this (Miami) could easily have brought the standard up in great places like Road America,” said the German, referring to the track in Wisconsin.
“From a driving point of view I think that would be a lot more thrilling, from the fan point of view that is difficult for me to judge because the last time I sat in the grandstand to watch a race was in 2001, a long time ago, and every fan is different.
“But from a racing and driving thrill I’d love to go to proper tracks.”
(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar)