Michael Schumacher's brother lashes out at the dismal situation of F1 in Germany

DTM Test At Hockenheimring
Ralf Schumacher DTM Test At Hockenheimring

Michael Schumacher's brother, Ralf Schumacher, has lashed out at the dismal situation of Formula 1 in Germany. In the last few years, German drivers have not been making their way through to Formula 1. On the current grid, veteran F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg is the only driver from Germany, and even he made his debut in 2010.

Other than Hulkenberg, only Mick Schumacher's name pops up if we look for a prospective German driver that could make it to F1. Other than him, there's hardly any name in the pipeline that could make an appearance. Gone are the days when Germans flooded the F1 grid, as now their number has dwindled significantly.

Talking about this to Motorsport-Magazin.com, Ralf Schumacher bemoaned the situation and said Germany had abolished itself from the world of motorsports.

He said:

“This is a disaster. We’ve abolished ourselves from the world in terms of motorsport – and with our eyes open. I pointed this out several times, but obviously it wasn’t wanted. Our biggest problem was to sell Formula 3. Formula 3 was the gateway to Formula 1 and, as the supporting programme of the DTM, a focal point of German motorsport, also for international drivers."

He added:

"Now Germany has become interchangeable. Why should one still do motorsport here? Quite the opposite: Italy is home to karting and Formula 4 racing. And then it goes on: we have no more Formula 1 races and with Mercedes only one German manufacturer, although with Audi [set to enter in 2026] a second one will come along. Mercedes picks up people regardless of where they come from, which is right. But Mercedes does not promote young talent in the classic sense."

Ralf Schumacher gives a damning verdict on the junior 'gateways' to F1

Talking about the junior categories like F3 that Germany has lost now, Schumacher said that the country had lost out massively in terms of having junior categories in place.

He said:

“For me, the ‘Formula youngsters’ train has sailed. The ADAC will concentrate on touring car racing. Formula racing in Germany is finished for me for the next few years. We haven’t invested either. In nothing at all!"

He added:

"Whoever starts in karting today has to go to Italy. And once he’s there, he stays in Italy. That rules out 99 percent of all motorsport athletes anyway because in Italy a professional season costs almost a quarter of a million. I don’t know how many parents can afford such sums.”

Roughly a decade ago, F1 boasted that as many as 25% of the grid had German drivers. We had Sebastian Vettel ruling the sport, and many others like Nico Hulkenberg, Nico Rosberg, and Nick Heidfeld proved to be capable assets on the grid.

We look at the sport now, and we don't even have a race in Germany. Not only that, the number of drivers has dropped drastically. Motorsport as a culture seems to have suffered massively in the country, although it remains to be seen what remedial measures, if any, can be put in place.

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now