Ecclestone: Decision on German GP due this weekend

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Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone remains uncertain whether or not the 2015 German Grand Prix will go ahead as planned, but has set a deadline for a decision on the event this weekend.

The race had been due to take place at the Nurburgring on July 19, only for Ecclestone to confirm on January 15 that it would instead be held at Hockenheim for the second year in a row.

Hockenheim and the Nurburgring have alternated hosting the German Grand Prix since 2008 to ensure that neither circuit makes a loss for two years in succession.

Despite Ecclestone saying that F1 could simply remove the cash-strapped Nurburgring from the contract, officials at Hockenheim were less enthusiastic about the move, claiming that no deal had been agreed.

With the race in jeopardy, a number of figures including 2014 drivers’ championship runner-up Nico Rosberg expressed their dismay at the possible collapse of one of the sport’s most important rounds.

Speaking to DPA news agency in Germany, Ecclestone has now said that a final decision about the race will be made this weekend.

“Certainly by this weekend,” Ecclestone said. “[I’m] not sure it’s going to happen.”

The possible absence of the German Grand Prix is a puzzling one given the nation’s recent success in F1. Sebastian Vettel’s run of four world titles and the domination of German marque Mercedes still wasn’t enough to garner a crowd of more than 52,000 fans in 2014 – 43,000 short of Hockenheim’s capacity.

2015 is currently set to equal the record for the most number of races in a season, with 20 scheduled following the addition of the Mexican Grand Prix to the calendar.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023


Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.