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Italy and Germany to lose one race each in 2007?

NEWS STORY
16/07/2006

Bernie Ecclestone has warned that both Italy and Germany could lose one of their races in 2007.

Currently, Italy hosts the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, and the San Marino Grand Prix at San Marino, while Germany hosts the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim and the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

There has been talk of both countries losing a race for some time, as more and more countries (apparently) seek admission to the Formula One schedule, and Ecclestone attempts to make the sport less Euro-centric.

Neither of the German circuits is making money, which has led to talk of the tracks sharing the race, much like Silverstone and Brands Hatch did with the British Grand Prix in the 60s and 70s.

Monza has carried out extensive modifications to its facilities in an attempt to retain its race, whilst Imola is about to embark on a similar programme.

However, though the tracks might, certainly in the case of Monza, retain a place in the hearts of race fans, Formula One has shown all too often that it has no such room for sentimentality.

In March it was confirmed that (Toyota owned) Fuji International Speedway will host the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, leaving the future of the highly popular (Honda owned) Suzuka in doubt. However, Ecclestone is aware that the Japanese are crazy about F1, therefore two races in Japan are sustainable… with Suzuka possibly playing host to the Asia Grand Prix.

Reports that a compromise has been reached in Belgium, indicate that Spa Francorchamps will make a (welcome) return to the calendar next season, leaving Ecclestone with too many races to fit into too few slots.

When asked by Reuters if Germany faces losing a round of the championship next season, Ecclestone admitted; "We're working on it, probably only one.

And asked if Italy faces a similar fate, he added: "It looks like it."

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