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F1 manufacturers could say 'goodbye' - Schumacher

F1 manufacturers could say 'goodbye' - Schumacher
© Reuters
Ralf Schumacher is worried about the future of Germany's national representation in Formula 1.

Ralf Schumacher is worried about the future of Germany's national representation in Formula 1.

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone thinks the looming demise of Sebastian Vettel's career is connected with the end of Formula 1 on free-to-air television in Germany after 2020.

Quadruple world champion Vettel is the last German driver on the grid, and Schumacher does not think an influx of new talent is on the way up.

"As far as development of the youth is concerned, I see no improvement at all," the former F1 driver told DPA news agency. "It has been neglected in Germany for some time.

"I also see the risk that one or two manufacturers will say goodbye as well due to the times we are living in now," said Michael Schumacher's brother.

But he also said that the interest in Formula 1 within certain countries tends to go up and down.

"It would not be the first sport to have a little bit of difficulty for a while, that's the way of the times," said the former Williams and Toyota driver.

In 2010, there were no fewer than seven German drivers on the grid, and Schumacher said that was because of the corporate backing within the country.

"The companies made it easy," he said.

But now, Formula 1 needs to brace for much tougher times.

"If a board of directors must decide between firing people or doing a Formula 1 project, that's not easy," Schumacher, 44, said.

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Lewis Hamilton (44) of Great Britain celebrates winning his sixth world championship after the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas on November 3, 2019
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