Report: Nurburgring to host German GP annually starting next year

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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.

Daniel Ricciardo to decide soon about moving from Red Bull to another F1 team

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LE CASTELLET, France (AP) Daniel Ricciardo says over the next six weeks he wants to decide between staying at Red Bull or joining another Formula One team for next year.

Ricciardo said on Thursday at the French Grand Prix, “It would be nice to go on the summer break knowing what I am doing.”

F1 is working its way toward its three-week break in August with speculation mounting that Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren are interested in luring Ricciardo away from Red Bull for 2019.

“I will be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, and I am aware that there will be interest from other teams,” he said.

The Australian driver has won seven races in his four-plus seasons with Red Bull. He is fourth in the standings behind leader Sebastian Vettel heading into the race at the Paul Ricard Circuit near Marseille.

Ricciardo’s stock has risen in recent months after his victories in Shanghai and Monaco. His Monaco win was particularly impressive because Ricciardo had to deploy some masterful defensive driving to protect his lead after losing an estimated 25 percent of his engine power.

Ricciardo said he had not directly spoken to rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, but he hedged when asked if his manager had.

“People talk, have coffees, I will leave that one open-ended,” he said with a laugh.

Ricciardo called the decision on whether to go or stay with Red Bull the biggest choice of his career following his decision to leave his native Australia and continue his racing career in Europe over a decade ago.

“For sure the priority is to get a car to win the world title because I really believe I can,” he said. “I am slightly careful because it is easy to think the grass is greener and maybe it is, but I also have it pretty good where I am.

“People do like a change but just to make change for the sake of making a change is not enough for me. I need to find some substance behind it to jump ship.”

Red Bull announced recently it would be ending its 12-year partnership with engine-maker Renault and switching to Honda motors for next year.

Ricciardo was hesitant to endorse or criticize the change, saying he was going to “try to keep putting the pieces together if it is a good move.”

But with the question of the engine manufacturer out of the way, Ricciardo said Red Bull would likely be looking to resolve its drivers’ lineup for next year.

“I haven’t been pushed yet, but I would say that there will be some movement in the next week,” he said. “Whether that is something that gets put down on paper (or not), for sure the discussions will start to ramp up in the next few days.”