F1 boss casts doubt on German GP long-term future

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Formula One commercial rights boss Bernie Ecclestone warns that the German Grand Prix’s future beyond 2018 remains under threat.

This year’s race was initially supposed to take place at the Nürburgring in mid-July but contractual issues eventually led to the classic event being dropped from the F1 calendar – a first since 1960.

The German GP will return next year though, with Hockenheim set to host it on July 31.

The Baden-Württemberg venue, which has been organising the race in every even-numbered years since 2006, reportedly holds a contract for both 2016 and 2018.

The Nürburgring, which was hosting the event on odd-numbered seasons over the same period of time, still hopes to see F1 return in 2017 but currently lacks the necessary financial support to stage a race.

Asked to comment on the situation by Auto Motor und Sport, Ecclestone replied:

“I’m sitting here with a pen and I’m ready to sign a contract if you can send it to me. I had hoped the new organisers at the Nürburgring would be in a position to reach a deal but that does not seem to be the case.”

This would mean another one-year hiatus before Germany comes back to the F1 calendar in 2018. However, what lies beyond that date is very much up in the air.

“I am not sure Hockenheim can carry on,” added the 85-year-old supremo. “We really have a very favourable agreement with them. It will no longer exist in the future. They will have to accept what other European countries are paying.”

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