Bernie Ecclestone has revealed his aim of returning F1 action to the Nurburgring next season, despite the famous Eifel venue falling into serious financial difficulties in recent weeks.
With neither the 'Ring or Hockenheim willing - or necessarily able - to stump up the required sum to host the event annually, the German Grand Prix currently alternates between the two, with Fernando Alonso having won at the latter in mid-July. However, recent developments - and expensive ones when the planned motorsport-based theme park is taken into account - at the Nurburgring have led the circuit to the brink of administration, amid suggestions that the German GP might have to be canned for 2013.
The local Rheinland-Palatinate regional parliament appeared to have come to the circuit's rescue after its budget committee approved a €254m loan guarantee, which would allow the 'Ring to continue operating while servicing its existing debt, but the European Union has since decided that the state aid could contravene its regulations, and has announced that it is to extend a probe into the funding that was originally launched in March.
While circuit officials insist that hosting the F1 weekend is not essential to the future existence of the Nurburgring, Ecclestone is keen that Germany - which joined the world championship in 1951 and has been a staple almost ever since - remains on the schedule, and has already suggested that, should the 'Ring not be able to fulfil its 2013 obligation, the race could revert to Hockenheim. The 81-year old, however, is keen to see the alternation of venues continue and, despite circuit development chief, Thomas Schmidt suggesting that, without a reduction in fees, 'we simply don't have the money'[, has re-opened talks to see if a way can be found around the problem.
"I am currently in negotiations with the officials at the Nurburgring," Ecclestone told the Rhein-Zeitung
newspaper over the weekend, "We need to keep the German race, so we'll do the best we can to sort this out. The aim is to have race at the Nurburgring in 2013."
Ecclestone did not comment on the subject or success of the talks held to date.