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Hockenheim to host 2015 German GP

NEWS STORY
15/01/2015

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that Hockenheim will host this year's German Grand Prix following problems with the Nurburgring over costs.

Only yesterday, the CEO of the Nurburgring, which was scheduled to host the race which alternates between the two circuits, revealed that talks were ongoing but admitted concern over the rising costs of hosting the event.

Today, with just over two weeks to go before pre-season testing gets underway, and just six month before the F1 circus arrives in Germany, Ecclestone has revealed that Hockenheim will host the event for the second successive year.

"It's going to be at Hockenheim," he told {i]Reuters. "We're in the middle of doing something with them.

"It can't be Nurburgring because there's nobody there," added the F1 supremo, a clear dig at the circuit he twice tried to buy last year.

"We wanted to buy the Nurburgring, we made an offer and somebody topped us with a few dollars and bought it," said the Briton. "Then they couldn't pay and it went on sale again. I said I'd be interested and then they found somebody else. So I don't know what's happening.

"We've got a contract in place, we just have to amend the years of the contract. It was alternating with Nurburgring so we'll just take that out. Providing the contract goes through as we expect it to, we'll be in good shape."

The Nurburgring is currently owned by Russian billionaire Victor Kharitonin, who has a 38% stake in pharmaceutical giant Pharmstandard, which has a market capitalization of more than $3b. While Kharitonin owns two-thirds of the Nurburgring, the remaining third is owned by GetSpeed GmbH.

In March last year, the circuit, which was put up for sale following a European Commission investigation that deemed assistance given to it was not granted on market terms and therefore breached European Union rules, was bought by the Capricorn Group, which supplies high-end crankshafts, cylinder liners, pistons, connecting rods and fibre-reinforced composite materials to the motor sport industry. At the time, the Capricorn Group, which bought the circuit and its debt in a 100 million euro deal, pledged to invest a further 25 million euros in order to expand the facilities around the circuit.

It was subsequently announced that the Nurburgring would host the German Grand Prix exclusively for the next five years only for the deal to fall through when Capricorn ran into trouble raising the required funding resulting in the circuit being put up for sale once again.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by MrShadow, 15/01/2015 20:51

"The only restriction Bernie needs is to restrict anyone below his height."

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2. Posted by Chris Roper, 15/01/2015 20:15

"Ecclestone: "I said I'd be interested and then they found somebody else. So I don't know what's happening."

They were probably worried that you would put an age restriction of "No Persons Under 70 allowed in" Mr. E."

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