The future of F1 in Germany depends on Mick Schumacher: PlanetF1

Franz Tost believes that the future of Formula 1 in Germany depends on Mick Schumacher and reveals that he wanted the young German at AlphaTauri.

Nowhere more than in Germany is the name Schumacher synonymous with Formula 1. Mick’s father Michael went from local hero to international superstar and all-time great and even though his son has so far failed to match those tall peaks, there is still great interest in his career.

How that interest plays out in 2023 remains to be seen, with Schumacher out of full-time driving, but his departure coincides with an apparent cooling of interest in the sport from the country.

Last German race winner Sebastian Vettel departed as did Schumacher for a third driver role at Mercedes, leaving Nico Hülkenberg without a podium finish the only representative of a country which has produced 179 victories in the past.

German audiences may not even be able to watch sports with Sky Germany reportedly struggling to find a new free-to-air TV channel after RTL refused to extend its contract.

Despite being Austrian, Tost has spent a lot of time in Germany, including a stint at BMW in the early 2000s, and believes the malaise isn’t limited to Formula 1 alone.

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“Germany is spoiled,” he told Auto Bild. “You also feel it in football. I am convinced that the indifference of the last World Cup also has to do with the poor results of the national team.

Had they made it to the final, half of Germany would have followed the matches in Qatar as well. One thing is certain: people need heroes, and they need them made of flesh and blood, not metal.

Returning to Formula 1, Tost said he believed Hülkenberg’s presence alone was not enough to sustain the country’s interest in the sport and said he believed the future of German F1 rested on Schumacher’s shoulders.

“Mick’s career determines interest in Germany,” said the head of AlphaTauri. “Nico Hülkenberg cannot do it alone.

“They [the German public] then he wanted to see Michael Schumacher win and not the Mercedes engine or car. Only heroes trigger a boom. As Michael Schumacher showed.

“The second example is Boris Becker. Before him, interest in tennis was more reserved for wealthy citizens. This changed abruptly with the success of Boris and Steffi Graf. Suddenly all the kids wanted to play tennis.

“He could have become the new hero, but unfortunately he’s out of Formula 1 for now. What a pity.”

Tost also revealed that he wanted the former Haas driver at AlphaTauri, but in the end the team opted for Nyck de Vries.

“I would have liked to see him at AlphaTauri, not because of the name, but because I believe in his talent and ability.

“Why don’t you just win the Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships. But unfortunately it didn’t work out in the end.”

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