In what is fast becoming one of the more tedious stories of the F1 off-season, Bernie Ecclestone has said that he is still working to keep the German Grand Prix on the 2013 schedule, despite a lack of finance and legal wranglings undermine the Nurburgring's candidature.
While the circuit itself has not given up on the hope of staging this year's race – as is scheduled by its sharing agreement with Hockenheim – Ecclestone's office reportedly halted negotiations with organisers late last week, leaving a rescue bid by Hockenheim as the only possible solution to ensure that one of the world's oldest events remains on the calendar.
Nurburgring Automotive GmbH chief Jorg Lindner, however, insists that the Eifel circuit remains at the head of the queue, telling the Rhein Zeitung
newspaper that the company he leads alongside Kai Richter held 'the exclusive rights to F1 at the Nurburgring'.
The situation took another turn this week, when Lindner and Richter were reported to have launched legal proceedings against Karl-Josef Schmidt, who they allege has damaged the talks with Ecclestone. According to Pitpass
, the pair are in line for a multi-million pound payout from the profits of the race should it take place, despite being behind the development programme that contributed to its financial downfall.
While Ecclestone confirmed earlier this week that dealings with the circuit had been halted, he later admitted that he was still working on having a German GP on the schedule, even though it was unlikely that the venue would be known before pre-season testing kicks off.
“I am doing my best to make sure we have an event in Germany,” he told the Associated Press
, “but, at the moment, I can't say whether it will be Hockenheim or Nurburgring.”