Vettel hopes for German GP win as clock ticks on race future
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel hopes to win Sunday's German Grand Prix in front of his home crowd to provide a timely boost amid concerns the future of the event remains up in the air.
The race alternated between the Hockenheimring and the Nurburgring from 2007 to 2013, before the latter's financial problems meant the race could no longer be held in 'odd' years.
Hockenheim's current deal is also due to end in 2018, which has led to speculation that the German GP will be removed from the calendar.
Speaking in Thursday's drivers press conference, Vettel said: ''I hope since we had a bad World Cup that people didn't put their flags away. If there's a chance, I want to win, and if that helps to keep the grand prix it would be a bonus.
''I'm afraid this is the last time for a while, which would be a shame.
''I'm literally from here, it's half an hour away from where I was born and where I grew up, so it would mean a lot to me [to win].
''It would be a shame to lose the German GP because it has so much history - we are a car nation.''
Vettel's single victory in his home race came in 2013 at the Nurburgring, and he has never finished higher than third at Hockenheim.
After his victory at Silverstone two weeks ago, the four-time world champion is eight points of clear defending champion Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings.
Hamilton signed a new contract worth an estimated £40million a year with Mercedes earlier on Thursday, making him, Vettel and Red Bull's Max Verstappen the only drivers with contracts for the 2019 season.
Commenting on the news, Vettel said: "You want to fight the best, and Lewis has been one of the best since he entered Formula One, so it's good.''