The German Grand Prix has alternated between the Nurburgring and Hockenheim on a yearly basis since 2008. But that may soon be changing.
A German newspaper, the Rhein Zeitung, is reporting that the Nurburgring – which was sold earlier this year to automotive group Capricorn – has secured a five-year agreement with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to stage the German Grand Prix annually, starting in 2015.
Hockenheim will stage this year’s German round and is currently slated to do the same in 2016 and 2018.
Regarding the reported agreement, Hockenheim chief executive Georg Seiler was quoted by Australian news agency AAP saying: “The fact is that I was surprised by the news.”
He also said in the AAP report that he had “always known and respected Mr. Ecclestone as a fair and good partner.”
Back in 2006, it was announced that this particular race would flip between Nurburgring and Hockenheim in the face of both tracks facing financial struggles.
However, a dispute between the tracks over naming rights caused the 2007 race to run at Nurburgring under the European Grand Prix moniker. The German GP proper returned in 2008 at Hockenheim.
It is also being reported that as part of Capricorn’s deal to purchase Nurburgring, 25 million Euros will be earmarked for expansion of the track. Leading up to the Capricorn deal, Ecclestone said that he had put in a bid for Nurburgring, which proved unsuccessful.
The track went into bankruptcy in 2012 after previous owners amassed major debts following construction of an entertainment complex that included a shopping mall and amusement park.