Vettel blamed for German GP attendance figures

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel must take some of the blame for the poor spectator turnout at last weekend's German Grand Prix, according to an adviser to Hockenheim.

Formula 1's three previous events, in Canada, Austria and Britain, took place in front of near-capacity grandstands, yet the race on Sunday was witnessed by 52,000 fans, a significant drop on 2012's figures and lower than the number seen at DTM races.

Katja Heim, an adviser to the circuit, believes that Vettel's negative comments about the new regulations - he labelled the sound of the Power Units as s**t at the Malaysian Grand Prix in March - affected some punters.

"It certainly didn't really help that Sebastian in his frustration about the new Formula 1 and his car gave loads of interviews about how bad Formula 1 is now and that it's not worth going there," she explained to Reuters.

"As a four-time world champion from Germany, people believe him more than they would the sales people. So if he says there's nothing any more for the fans, it's not Formula One like it used to be, that was 100% quite damaging."

Heim also hinted that Germany's victory in the football World Cup played a part.

"For Formula 1, it would maybe have been better if Germany had done an England and gone out in the first round," she said. "I really believe that."

However, Heim also believes that Formula 1 needs to grasp a younger audience.

"Someone asked me yesterday 'Do you think all your spectators died away'," she said jokingly.

"They were referring actually to the point that we need to find a trick to get new, young fans. That is something the whole sport has to embrace. We need to get cooler."

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