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Wolff admits concern at low fan turnout

NEWS STORY
19/07/2014

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits concern at the low spectator turnout for the first day of the Hockenheim weekend.

As the country's 'summer of sporting success' continues, one might have expected the fans to turn out in droves to cheer on championship leader Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes or even reigning champ Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull. But no, instead we were treated to whole grandstands devoid of fans, leaving Hockenheim looking as if it were hosting a mid-week test.

Asked if he was concerned at the low turnout, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff couldn't hide his disappointment, even if he began his response with a mild rebuke for the journo asking the question.

"Let's start with a positive question..." he smiled.

"It's not satisfying," he continued. "If you compare Hockenheim Friday to Friday at Silverstone and Friday in Austria it's a different world and we have to understand why that is.

"I'm not sure whether we have an exact number for Sunday already - you know, there are lots of people probably deciding at short notice, depending on the weekend - and we have to analyse the phenomenon. If the weekend continues like it does now, we need to think about it."

Perhaps the locals don't feel that the Brackley based team - formerly BAR, Honda and Brawn - is German enough, perhaps they agree with Lewis Hamilton and feel that Nico Rosberg isn't German enough. Perhaps, like Sebastian Vettel they have already given up on 2014 and are looking ahead to next season.

Or perhaps they feel they can do better things with their time and money than pay to watch the tactical nonsense that is FP1 and FP2, when drivers are only encouraged to take to the track in the opening session courtesy of a 'free' set of tyres.

Perhaps they are simply sick to death of the constant rule changes - including those imposed long after they booked their tickets - and being told that it's all in the name of the show.

Perhaps they don't want the show but merely to see twenty-two heroes racing flat-out.

Check out our Friday gallery, here.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 20/07/2014 5:42

"Need some new old ideas Toto? Go visit NASCAR on your way to Austin or on your three weeks off after the Hungarokartring race. See why they draw fans and you draw flies."

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2. Posted by Jumpy Bob, 19/07/2014 23:36

"That is a legitimate word... I will correct... 'Fan turn out being so few'... "

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3. Posted by Jumpy Bob, 19/07/2014 23:34

"I, too, would be concerned if I saw the Fan turn out that sp****.

We will wait and see if the gate numbers improve over the entire weekend.

Formula One may just have painted themselves into a corner.

The show that it use to be, is no more."

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4. Posted by GeorgeK, 19/07/2014 17:59

"Too many variables to come to your conclusion Mr. Balf."

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5. Posted by phantom, 19/07/2014 14:56

"Thank you.
The last line of your article says it all."

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