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DATE News (chronologically)
09/30/09
f1
Hockenheim F1 future set for final axe? No.  UPDATE #11 (GMM)  Formula One Administration (FOA), the company led by Bernie Ecclestone, has taken on some of the "business risks" of promoting future German grands prix at Hockenheim.

It was announced on Wednesday that, after recording annual multi million euro losses in recent races, the circuit's future on the F1 calendar has been secured.

Until 2018, Hockenheim will share the German GP in an alternating scheme with the Nurburgring.

It had been believed that only the regional government was contributing to the solution, but the race organizers confirmed in a statement that FOA has agreed with Hockenheim to share the "business risks and opportunities" of hosting the race.

In a news conference, Hockenheim mayor Dieter Gummer did not want to give any more away, but he confirmed that the city no longer has to worry about a projected 6 million euro loss for the 2010 event.

09/30/09 Formula One racing will continue at Germany's Hockenheimring until 2018, it was confirmed Wednesday. The news comes after the regional council where Hockenheim is situated approved late Tuesday a contract between the circuit's management company Hockenheim GmbH, the mayor of the area's town council and the Formula One Association (FOA).

Under the deal, FOA and Hockenheim GmbH will share the financial burden of hosting the event, meaning the 2010 German Grand Prix will now take place at the circuit as planned.

Hockenheim and the Nurb├╝rgring host the German GP on alternate years for financial reasons. 

09/30/09 (GMM)  Yet another opportunity for the future of Hockenheim's formula one race to be clarified has passed.

The state premier Gunther Oettinger recently explained that the government factions would have a decision about funds for the track, scheduled to host the German GP next year, by 29 September (Tuesday).

But the German news agency DPA reports that the parliament wants to ensure that any state support flows only into infrastructure, presumably as opposed to the sport's coffers.

DPA however said that if the parliament's conditions are upheld, there would need to be more negotiations with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

"We are not quite there yet," economics minister Ernst Pfister said in Stuttgart when asked to give clarity about the race.

He added that he is confident "we will have found a way in eight to ten days".

09/22/09 (GMM)  Although allocated a firm July date on next year's F1 calendar, the 2010 German grand prix is not yet set in stone.

Reports in Germany insist that the Hockenheim circuit must first receive the final approval from its local state Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Track boss Karl Josef Schmidt told the news agency SID that the agreement could take "a few days".

The uncertainty arose in June, when the Hockenheim council said it was no longer willing to absorb annual multi million euro race losses.

09/22/09 (GMM)  After a long period of uncertainty, Germany will continue to be represented on the formula one calendar.

With the Nurburgring not wanting to step in and host the country's event every season, it was feared that Hockenheim's reluctance to absorb annual losses could result in Germany not appearing on the 2010 schedule.

But the FIA's World Motor Sport Council on Monday approved a provisional calendar for next season, and 'Germany' is featured.

The German news agencies SID and DPA clarified that the 25 July date is reserved for a race at Hockenheim.  "The uncertainty is over," said the SID report.

08/30/09 (GMM)  A solution has reportedly been found so that Hockenheim will stage the German grand prix next year.  According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, Bernie Ecclestone has worked with the race organizers after they were no longer willing to absorb multi million euro losses. Official confirmation of the solution, finalized in meetings on Thursday, is set for September. "We are very, very close.  It looks good," said the F1 chief executive.

08/23/09 (GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday sounded confident a solution will be found to keep formula one at Hockenheim in the future.

The German circuit, currently annually alternating the German GP rights with the Nurburgring, said recently it no longer willing to pick up the multi-million euro bill due to race losses.

Work has continued behind the scenes on a solution, and as he announced on Sunday that races at Valencia and Suzuka have a strong future, F1 chief executive Ecclestone also sounded confident about Hockenheim.

"We are talking and working on a solution," the 78-year-old is quoted as saying by the German news agency SID.

"I hope we will succeed: maybe next week," the Briton added.

07/07/09 (GMM)  The fallout of Bernie Ecclestone's Hitler interview continued on Tuesday, as it emerged the F1 chief executive called off a scheduled appearance at the Nurburgring.

The 78-year-old's audience with Baden-Wurttemberg prime minister Gunther Oettinger has already been cancelled due to the controversial comments, and Ecclestone was also scheduled to attend the opening of the German GP venue's facility improvements.

But according to the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur, the Briton phoned to withdraw from the event, although Nurburgring officials would not confirm the reasons for the decision.

Ecclestone denied his meeting with Oettinger has been called off.

"As far as I'm concerned I am to meet him at 12 o'clock on Sunday.  Nobody has said anything to the contrary to me," he said.

07/07/09 (GMM)  The decision of German state premier Gunther Oettinger to cancel his meeting with Bernie Ecclestone this weekend was interpreted as a blow to Hockenheim's hopes of retaining its F1 race.

But although it is true the prime minister's Nurburgring audience will not take place due to the Ecclestone-Hitler saga, moves to resolve Hockenheim's financial difficulties will continue nonetheless, it has emerged.

For obvious reasons, a leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union party could not at this time be meeting with a man accused of sympathizing with tyrant Adolf Hitler.

Hockenheim managing director Karl Josef Schmidt said he was "shocked" by the affair and would not comment on what effect it would have on the future of the circuit's formula one race.

But Auto Motor und Sport reports that the Nurburgring meeting on Sunday is still to take place, with a lawyer or another representative of the Baden-Wurttemberg state to join Ecclestone instead.

The news was confirmed by government spokesman Christoph Dahl.

06/24/09 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.  At a stakeholders meeting on Tuesday, it was decided that the city of Hockenheim will no longer host the German grand prix.

"We will not be the promoters any more," city mayor Dieter Gummer, ruing annual multi-million euro losses, is quoted as saying in the German press.

However, he was also quoted as leaving the door open to investors or a new promoter, and earlier this week it was rumored that Hockenheim is open to the idea of FOTA's breakaway series.

Gummer said discussions with Bernie Ecclestone are taking place, and that the F1 chief executive has put into writing his desire for a solution to be found.

With Hockenheim alternating Germany's annual race with the Nurburgring, it is now possible that the country will not appear on the 2010 F1 calendar.

05/20/09 (GMM)  After a key meeting on Wednesday, hopes that Hockenheim will organize a German grand prix next year have risen.

The financially embattled circuit had said that without an external solution, it will pull off the calendar.

The situation led to a meeting in Stuttgart involving the local state prime minister Gunther Oettinger and other stakeholders, including Mercedes parent Daimler.

Afterwards, the politician noted the importance of the race to Baden-W├╝rttemberg.  "I now see the chances of a positive solution at more than 50 per cent," Hockenheimring managing director Karl Josef Schmidt is quoted as saying by the news agency SID.

He added that a meeting will now take place between Oettinger and F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

Schmidt added: "And I assume the prime minister will not want to return without success."

05/18/09 (GMM)  The future of Hockenheim's formula one race could become clear after a meeting on Wednesday.

It is reported that representatives of the financially embattled circuit and state prime minister Gunther Oettinger is scheduled to take place.

Oettinger, meanwhile, is seeking a meeting with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, the SID news agency also claims.

Hockenheim has said that, without a solution, Hockenheim will not return to the calendar in 2010 due to annual million euro losses.

Circuit boss Karl Josef Schmidt said Wednesday's meeting is "crucial" to the outcome.

He said he is not in an overly optimistic mood, but: "If a prime minister sits down to talk, then it is not just for fun."

And Schmidt added: "Ecclestone knows that the prime minister wants to speak with him."

A precise deadline for a solution has not been set, but Schmidt said that Hockenheim needs approximately a full year to prepare for a 2010 race.

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