A meeting scheduled between German Grand Prix organisers and F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone has been called off in the wake of the latter's contentious comments praising Adolf Hitler as a model leader with an ability 'to get things done'.
Though the 2009 German Grand Prix is set to take place at the Nürburgring this weekend, the future of the race beyond that is unclear, with doubts over whether 2010 host Hockenheim will be able to take its place in turn. Recently the regional Baden-Württemberg council – which owns 94 per cent of the circuit and funds the event in its entirety – revealed that it is no longer able to maintain its financial support in the wake of mounting losses that totalled €6 million last year alone.
Hopes of a deal had been raised, however, following a meeting with Ecclestone that suggested a solution would be reached by the end of this month, in order to overturn the council's 'counterproductive' decision to cease its funding and preserve the ongoing agreement that sees Hockenheim and the Nürburgring welcoming F1 in alternate seasons.
“There is a noticeable will on the part of Mr. Ecclestone to keep Formula 1 at the Hockenheimring,” Karl-Josef Schmidt, financial chief executive of the company which runs the track, is quoted as having said by ESPN
. “The situation needs to be sorted out soon.”
Further discussions were planned for Sunday between the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive and Baden-Württemberg state prime minister Günther Oettinger, but spokesman Christoph Dahl told German Press Agency dpa
that the reunion has now been cancelled in the wake of Ecclestone's controversial remarks that have been met with worldwide condemnation [see separate story – click here