Ecclestone on German GP: “We are trying to make it happen”

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Bernie Ecclestone is pushing to keep the German Grand Prix on the 2017 Formula 1 calendar, but says the race promoter is unable to afford an already-reduced hosting fee.

The German Grand Prix traditionally alternated between Hockenheim and the Nürburgring until 2015, when the race dropped off the calendar.

Hockenheim hosted the race in 2016 when it returned to the schedule, but is not in a position to stage it in consecutive years, while the Nürburgring has not welcomed F1 since 2013 due to financial difficulties.

The provisional 2017 F1 calendar was issued earlier this fall with Hockenheim listed as the German Grand Prix host, albeit as being “subject to agreement”.

“There is nothing sure yet. We are trying to make it happen,” Ecclestone told the official F1 website when asked about the German Grand Prix.

“It seems that the promoter can’t make it financially viable. They cannot pay a fee, which is a very reduced fee that we’ve done for them.

“It is not fair that they should pay a fee which is a lot less than the other European venues pay. We are trying to keep all the Europeans at the same amount.”

The struggles faced by the German Grand Prix come at a time when a German team, Mercedes, is dominating the sport and a German driver, Nico Rosberg, is within touching distance of the world championship.

Fellow Germans Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel won a combined 11 world titles during their careers, making the lack of interest in F1 puzzling.

“Maybe they don’t want Formula 1,” Ecclestone said.

“Yes, it is very strange if you see their F1 history, with several world champions and a very successful team.

“I don’t know what more they could have.”