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.