Ecclestone doubts Nürburgring will host German GP in 2017

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Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has doubts over the planned return of the Nürburgring to the sport’s calendar in 2017.

The German Grand Prix dropped off the calendar for 2015 after officials at the Nürburgring failed to strike a deal with Ecclestone, reducing the schedule down to 19 races.

Although the German Grand Prix is set to return in 2016 at Hockenheim as part of the agreement between the tracks to rotate hosting duties, Ecclestone doubts the race will be on the calendar once again in 2017 due to the financial uncertainty facing the Nürburgring.

“I don’t believe that this will happen,” Ecclestone told Motorsport-Magazin. “We can say for sure, that there will be no race.”

Ecclestone laments the Nürburgring’s decision not to sell him the track around two years ago after he was outbid, believing its future would have been more secure in his hands.

“It’s a pity, because when the Nürburgring was for sale, I agreed to buy it,” Ecclestone said. “They came back to me and told me that they have a better offer, maybe one or two million higher than my offer.

“I said: ‘I made only one offer. If somebody wants to pay more, sell it to him.’ They’ve sold it to a person and this person resold it.

“The stupidity was, because of two million, they’ve lost somebody who had guaranteed that there would have been races for 100 years and who would have tried to improve the things.

“They ran away for a few dollars more.”

The Nürburgring last hosted the German Grand Prix in 2013, and stated last month that it was in discussions with Ecclestone to ensure it returned to the F1 calendar in 2017 as planned.