Ecclestone holds out hope for Germany


Bernie Ecclestone is hopeful that Germany will remain on the calendar after 2016.

Whilst Germany makes a welcome return to the F1 calendar in 2016, having been dropped this year, there are concerns in terms of its long-term future.

Like many other European events the host circuit has been struggling to meet the escalating costs demanded by FOM.

The glory days of the Schumacher era, when Germany regularly hosted two races each season, a distant memory, such has been the lack of interest in the event, and consequent financial issues, the sole race has alternated between Hockenheim and the Nurburgring.

This year it was the Nurburgring's turn to host the event, however, a change of ownership and said financial difficulties meant the race could not be held.

For a while it appeared that Hockenheim would save the day, but ultimately, with an eye on 2014's poor attendance, and a lack of lead-in time in terms of organising everything, the German Grand Prix was dropped from the calendar for the first time since 1960.

Scheduled to host the race in 2016, and with the alternating scheduling with the Nurburgring seemingly at an end, there is concern for 2017 and beyond, however, Bernie Ecclestone remains hopeful.

"I am sitting here with my pen and am prepared to sign a contract if they send me one," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

Referring to the Nurburgring, which he made an unsuccessful bid to buy, he said: "I had hoped that the new owners would be able to agree a contract with me, but that does not appear to be the case.

"We really have an extremely favourable contract with Hockenheim," he added. "But that won't be the case in the future anymore. They have to accept what other European countries pay too."

With France long gone, and Italy, and Britain and Germany under threat, there is serious concern as to the future of F1 in Europe, though next year's race in Azerbaijan - the Baku Grand Prix of Europe - ensures that the sport's heartland doesn't miss out entirely.

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Published: 24/12/2015
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