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German GP future looking bleak

NEWS STORY
06/03/2015

The future of the German Grand Prix looks bleak as Bernie Ecclestone says promoters are unwilling to pay the fees.

At the height of the Schumacher era, Germany couldn't get enough F1. As the German took numerous titles with Ferrari the country hosted two rounds of the world championship, often at a time when the calendar was smaller than it is today.

However, despite the fact that a German team, albeit based in Brackley, England, is the world champion constructor, that the title-winning driver was at the wheel of that car, that his teammate and greatest rival is German, that Sebastian Vettel has now emulated Schumacher by joining Ferrari... and not forgetting Nico Hulkenberg, the sport is seriously on the wane.

In 2014, as Nico Rosberg, at that stage leading the championship, took victory at Hockenheim, who can forget the swathes of empty seats in the famous arena, seats that had been filled to bursting during the Schumacher era.

In recent years, a second race now a distant memory, the German Grand Prix has been hosted on an alternating basis at Hockenheim and the Nurburgring. While this year's race was due to take place at the Nurburgring, which is now under new ownership (Bernie Ecclestone having failed in his bid to buy it) it was not to be and despite appearing to have come to a deal with Hockenheim that too looks to have foundered.

"I am happy to keep a round of Formula One at Nürburgring," wrote Ecclestone in an email to German news agency dpa on Friday. "The promoter is aware of this and we have met to discuss this. The problem is that they are not prepared to pay the fee."

A day earlier, Ecclestone had said the fate of this year's race would be known by the weekend.

"I'm not sure it's going to happen," he told dpa.

Last month, Ecclestone admitted the future of F1 in German looked bleak because "the visitor numbers were so poor in recent years that it is not economically viable."

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 09/03/2015 12:23

"@Growler2
I doubt "Teflon" Bernie is worried about anything as nebulous as a "conflict of interest". "What's good for Bernie is good for F1" seems to be the prevailing attitude....."

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2. Posted by Growler2, 08/03/2015 9:15

"But with Ecclestone's reputation one has to wonder about the potential conflict of interest. Is Ecclestone (wearing his F1 commercial rights holder's hat) trying to drive down the market value of the Nurburgring circuit so that he (personally) can acquire it cheap and then award the circuit the German GP at a much more reasonable fee level?"

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3. Posted by Spindoctor, 06/03/2015 21:57

"The whole business (sic) is a fiasco. The criticisms of the way Formula 1 is run are well-known and largely true. How Bernie manoeuvred Max\FIA into delivering him the "rights" to Formula 1 effectively in perpetuity and for a pittance is a mystery to me.

Not content with having a very successful and lucrative business Bernie has to wring every penny out of it he can, whether on his own account or on behalf of CVC. The consequences of that will continue to be felt as lack of investment chokes off profits and subsidy is needed from ever more despotic sponsors. Until Kim Jong Il is next in line for a race....."

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4. Posted by alfsboy, 06/03/2015 20:51

"Trouble is Bernie HAS to wring more and more money out of the sport .CVC is his employer not his toy and his job description means he has is to earn more and more money for them as shareholders .Staying still is not an option ,neither is being fair ,sporting ,or far sighted .That just business at the top .No sentiment or down goes the share price and the takings ,goodbye job .F! should never have been put on a fully commercial basis and sold for a pittance but it has and can only get worse as the whole world faces some very difficult situations .Even China is facing some form of meltdown,the middle East is in flames as are parts of Eastern Europe ,Europe is far from prosperous and the USA may have cheap oil but it also no longer has China buying its bonds "

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5. Posted by GordonW, 06/03/2015 18:44

""despite the fact that a German team, albeit based in Brackley, England, is the world champion constructor" The team is not just based in Brackley, the cars are designed and built there - and, oh by the way, the engines aren't German either - they're designed and built in Brixworth, Northamptonshire. It's no wonder the German public have lost interest when "their" car is British, "their" engine is British, one of "their" drivers - the World Champion - is British (and the other is effectively Finnish). And this loss of interest from Germans is only undoubtedly compounded by Bernie's constant quest to wring more and more money out of every opportunity..."

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6. Posted by nealio, 06/03/2015 17:02

"Ecclestone's comments are incomplete. He failed to mention the deplorable state of governance and the unrealistic fees he asks to put on a GP. Eccelstone needs to seriously reevaluate the cost/value ratio of F1. CVC and Ecclestone have engineered short-term deals that benefit themselves at the cost of the long term health of the series, which incidentally, they don't see themselves as being involved in. "

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7. Posted by Hondawho?, 06/03/2015 15:08

"One down others will follow!"

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8. Posted by alfsboy, 06/03/2015 14:53

"Looks like Ulan Bator will get the race after all "

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