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Hockenheim in talks to host 2020 race

NEWS STORY
29/04/2020

Despite the fact that it hosted one of the most memorable races in living memory last year, the harsh reality of Formula One's financial demands meant that Hockenheim - indeed, Germany - was a noticeable absentee from 2020's record schedule.

For years, Germany's round of the world championship alternated between Hockenheim and the Nurburgring, neither able to afford the hosting fees on a regular basis.

Now, as F1 struggles to put together a calendar in the wake of the coronavirus, initially concentrating on European events, Hockenheim could find itself back in favour.

Jorn Teske, CEO at the legendary track, has revealed that he is in talks with F1 bosses with a view to hosting a round of the revised calendar.

"I can confirm that we are in talks," he told Motorsport.com. "We were, and are, in contact with our colleagues from Formula 1 from time to time anyway. After so many years of partnership, it is quite normal to ask each other what the respective status is.

"We are in dialogue regarding these topics," he added. "And we have also talked about the uncertainties of the race calendar in Formula 1."

Though keen to point out that the talks have not got down to specifics such as dates, Teske will be aware that were the race to take place behind closed doors - which is sure to be the case - rather than paying a hosting fee, F1 would pay to use the facility.

"We talked about whether such a thing is possible," he admitted, "how it would take place.

"We exchanged ideas casually," he added. "But not about dates, conditions, contract set-ups, which are absolutely necessary in order to be able to seriously examine something like this. It didn't go that far.

"We have always said that we can only host Formula 1 on the condition that it doesn't bear an incalculable financial risk for us," he continued. "That was our main guideline for the last few years. We always stuck to it, and we managed to find contractual set-ups that fulfilled just that."

However, with a ban on public gatherings and an increase in cases of the virus this week since some restrictions were eased, even were the race to take place behind closed doors, Teske is aware that any conditions set by local authorities would need to be complied with.

"If we can ensure what is required by the authorities, and the economic aspects make sense for us, then we at the Hockenheimring would not close our minds," he said. "However, we still have to conduct these talks. It is not as concrete as some might think at the moment."

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