Report: Mercedes offered to pay half of German GP losses

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Mercedes offered to pay for half of the losses made by the Hockenheim circuit in a bid to save the German Grand Prix and keep it on the calendar for the 2015 season, it has been revealed.

Earlier this week, the FIA confirmed that there would be no Formula 1 world championship race in Germany for the first time since 1960 after neither Hockenheim nor the Nurburgring could come to an agreement with commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone.

However, according to a report by the Observer in the UK, Mercedes had offered to make up 50% of the losses in a bid to keep the race alive.

“The organization of the race calendar and of individual events is a matter for the FIA, the commercial rights holder and the individual promoters,” a Mercedes spokesperson is quoted as saying.

“In principle, we do not believe it is the job of the competing teams to provide financial support for individual events and we do not believe this is a sustainable model for the future.

“Nevertheless, the German GP is a core race on the Formula 1 calendar and we have a significant interest in this race taking place.

“Mercedes-Benz has participated in discussions and offered a significant contribution to support a successful German GP, at the Hockenheimring, in 2015. This offer was, unfortunately, not accepted.”

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff had previously said that the German marque would try to help and save its home race, and with the Nurburgring also making an offer to Ecclestone to host the race in 2015, it is clear that the event did not go down without a fight.

Although some figures within the sport do expect the race to return in 2016, with the calendar continuing to swell, it could be that both the Nurburgring and Hockenheim face an uphill struggle to host F1 again in the near future.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).