Two tracks may share German GP

UPDATE #4 F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has suggested that he will consider annually rotating Germany's two grands prix.

With Hockenheim in financial strife and Nurburgring also failing to draw huge crowds to its 'European' fixture, the latter proposed that they be allowed to alternate the honor of staging a single German race.

75-year-old Ecclestone said: ''But, to be honest, I would be surprised if we really have to resort to that.''

However, in the interview with Germany's 'Deutsche Presse-Agentur' (DPA), the Briton added that he was 'surprised' that Hockenheim was struggling to find the money to put on its event.

01/31/06 (GMMf1NET) Hermann Tomczyk has told the formula one world not to be surprised when Hockenheim and the Nurburgring begin alternating as host of a single German GP per year.

Germany's automobile club sport president, and an FIA vice president, told 'ADAC Motorwelt' that he envisages an end to the days where two annual grands prix – the German and European races – are staged in the country.

''The practice is no longer justifiable,'' Tomczyk said. ''I can imagine very well that (the race) alternates, and I can see both (circuits) enjoying benefits.''

Italy, too, hosts two grands prix; one at Monza and the other further south, at Imola.

12/31/05 Hockenheim’s Georg Seiner told the Mannheim Morning newspaper that he wouldn't rule out the proposal.

"We looking into all the options, but we will not make any rash decisions", said Seiner, who added that any such considerations would have to take into account Hockenheim's contract with the FOM to host the German Grand Prix until 2008.

"It's true that the track is in financial problems," added Kafitz.

"It used to be possible to make a lot of money from hosting Formula 1 races, but these times are now past.

"We are not attracting the same amount of fans as we were in 2002 when we had 350,000 spectators for a grand prix at the Nürburgring."

Nurburgring's General Manager Walter Kafitz pointed out that, Ecclestone, who has apparently been consulted over the proposed solution, is keen to expand Formula 1's portfolio of venues.

"He has said before that he wants Formula 1 races in as many countries as possible."

Ecclestone is believed to be considering a third race in North America, while South Korea, Russia, India, Mexico and Dubai have all stated an interest in hosting grands prix in the future.

12/29/05 Hockenheim has not ruled out sharing the German grand prix with the Nurburgring, which is located near the western border of the country.

Traditionally, the two circuits each host an annual grand prix, but – as news broke that Hockenheim is nearing bankruptcy – Nurburgring's Walter Kafitz suggested that both could save money by alternating the formula one honor each year.

Hockenheim managing director George Seiler did not rule out the option, but suggested that the race venue would 'not act overhastily'.

He insisted to the Mannheim Morgen newspaper: ''We are looking in all directions.

''We have a contract until 2008.''

12/28/05 Germany's formula one race could alternate between financially-embattled Hockenheim and the Nurburgring, currently the scene of the European grand prix. The idea is the brainchild of Nurburgring boss Dr. Walter Kafitz, whose own annual F1 event in Germany is also enduring a spectator lull.

The 'SID' agency reports that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has been receptive to the idea of limiting Germany's race count from two to one per year. As well as save money for the beleaguered German venues, it would free-up space on the crowded calendar for new destinations like Russia and Mexico.

''Ecclestone knows about it,'' Kafitz confirmed.

He added that many traditional F1 venues no longer make a lot of money from hosting a race.

Kafitz explained: ''In 2002 we had 350,000 people at the Nurburgring on the grand prix weekend. Those days are long gone.''

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