Crash.Net F1 News
Local government keen to save Nurburgring date
13 December 2012
Despite its financial problems, the Nurburgring insists that it hopes to host the German Grand Prix, as planned, in 2013.
The facility's descent into insolvency has been well-documented and, for a long time, appeared set to cost it next year's F1 visit as negotiations failed to arrive at a payment arrangement suitable to both the circuit and FOM.
However, even as attention switched to persuading Hockenheim to take the race and ensure that Germany remained on the schedule regardless of the alternation arranged between the two circuits, the local government in Nurburgring's local Rhineland-Palatinate region claims that the race should be preserved at its original venue.
“I hope [Nurburgring is still in the running],” incoming minister Malu Dreyer told the DPA news agency, “I believe [that] government has an obligation of support and, for me, there is only one question - how do we ensure the future of this racing circuit?”
Hockenheim claims that it would be ready to step in and save the race of necessary, despite previously intimating that preparation had to start within days of the previous F1 event.
France, meanwhile, continues to hope for a return to the calendar, even if it is unlikely to be in 2013.
Paul Ricard and Magny-Cours have both lodged bids to stage the race should it return, but financial pressures continue to limit their viability, despite the current FIA president being French, and admitting that he would support the inclusion of the race on future schedules.
“It is up to neither the FIA nor its president to address this problem,” the former Ferrari boss said recently, “It is up to the French motor sport federation, the regions and, eventually, the French authorities. But as someone passionate about motor racing, I would be happy if there is a Grand Prix de France. If the file arrives on my desk, I will obviously do what I can for a favourable outcome. But that is still to happen.”
The German Grand Prix recently had its date changed to accommodate an extra European race following the postponement of the planned raced in New Jersey, creating speculation that F1 may return to Turkey or Austria in 2013. While the former is favoured by Bernie Ecclestone, Red Bull is pushing to return the sport to its eponymous circuit in Spielberg, but maintaining the calendar at 20 races is about as far as one driver wants to go.
"We're on the limit,” Mark Webber told Brazil's Totalrace website, "People talk about NASCAR['s massive schedule], but it's all in one country. In the past, we had 16 races, but more tests, [and] there were 10 races in Europe. Now there is almost no testing, but very little [racing] in Europe - and don't underestimate the work we have to do in the simulator.
"I think the ideal would be 18 [rounds], and more in Europe,” the British-based Australian continued, “As well as travelling, we need to be fit from the first week of February until the last in November. It's part of being a professional, I understand that, but it's difficult for everyone.”