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DATE News (chronologically)
03/04/09
f1
Ecclestone Says He’ll Help Save Germany’s F1 Race  Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone said he’ll help save the German Grand Prix, which needs financial help this month to avoid dropping off the calendar for the first time in 49 years.

“We’ll look after them,” Ecclestone said in a phone interview. “I don’t think there will be any problems.”

The Hockenheim circuit, owned by the City of Hockenheim, needs backing to host next year’s race after racking up a 5.3 million-euro ($6.6 million) loss on last season’s event, racetrack general manager Karl-Josef Schmidt said by telephone. Ticket sales slumped 37 percent to 60,000 since 2002. 

While the Nurburgring, another German circuit, will host this year’s event, officials say it can’t afford to stage the 2010 Grand Prix as well, Schmidt said.

Schmidt has been in talks with the regional government of Baden-Wuerttemberg and German car companies in an effort to secure funding since last year. He said he planned to ask the Ecclestone-led Formula One Administration Ltd. to renegotiate terms as a last resort. European racetracks pay as much as $23 million to host Formula One races.

“If we can’t present a solution by the end of the month, the City of Hockenheim will most probably ask us to enter into negotiations” to stop hosting the race, Schmidt said.  Bloomberg

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