Ecclestone Ends Talks With Nürburgring, Says Proposal Not Financially Feasible
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "has stopped negotiations with private project developers Kai Richter and Jörg Lindner at the Nürburgring," according to the DPA. The refusal stated: "After thorough examination of their proposal, we can't accept it because it is financially not feasible for us, and we have to stop our negotiations." One week ahead of the start of the F1 testing period, the home grand prix of defending world champion Sebastian Vettel "still hangs in the balance." A possible alternative for the Nürburgring "is still Hockenheim," which has been alternating as host of the German race with the Nürburgring since '07. In November, the former operators of the Nürburgring, Lindner and Richter, "were assured by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate that they are allowed to host the race in '13." In return, they "handed over the remaining race operation to the state-owned Nürburgring Operating Group (NBG)" (DPA, 1/27).
PORTUGAL POSSIBILITY: SPEED reported Portugal "has emerged as a candidate" to stage the vacant 20th race date on the '13 calendar, and France "is also in the running." Asked about the mid-season and so far unnamed 20th race set aside for a European venue, and also the uncertainty surrounding the venue for the German Grand Prix, Ecclestone said: "Frankly, I don't know. For the free date, there is interest from France and now also Portugal with the new Algarve track." Amid reports either the Nürburgring or Hockenheim could end up hosting the early July event. Ecclestone said: "For the German Grand Prix, it's still open" (SPEED, 1/26).
RUSSIAN DATE: R-SPORT reported Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov said that F1's first Russian Grand Prix will be held in Nov. '14 "in spite of reported delays." The track at the Olympic Park in Russia’s southern city of Sochi started construction in '11 and is contracted to host seven races from '14-20. Pakhomov said, "After the Olympics, in November, the Formula One will be held" (R-SPORT, 1/25).