Nurburgring shows F1 calendar woes

Nurburgring shows F1 calendar woes

Formula 1's next stop is a circuit in liquidation. Dieter Rencken analyses the implications of the arrangements made to keep the Nurburgring on the calendar

When news broke in January that the Nurburgring would be hosting this year's German Grand Prix, it was obvious a somewhat unorthodox deal had been struck, for not only was this classic circuit complex in liquidation, but doubts existed as to exactly which entity – liquidators, local state/council partnership or concession lessees – was legally empowered to negotiate with FOM, the sport's commercial rights holder.

From there it was a logical step to question what would possess any of the three to commit to race-hosting fees given that a) future ownership remains in doubt until such time as the liquidators sell off the circuit at auction, with German auto club ADAC said to be among a host of potential bidders; b) Hockenheim, the other German Grand Prix circuit, is locked into an 'even-year' rotating deal with FOM through to 2018, thus reducing income potential by 50 per cent; and c) grand prix gates are dropping like lead balloons across the world unless cut-price tickets are offered.

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