German promoter ′not willing to pay F1 hosting fee′: Ecclestone | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 06.03.2015
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German promoter 'not willing to pay F1 hosting fee': Ecclestone

German organizers - not F1 bosses - hold the key to deciding whether the Nürburgring will host a Grand Prix this season, Bernie Ecclestone has said. Poor attendances have caused cashflow issues for the race in Germany.

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has said the fate of the German Grand Prix is in the hands of local organizers, as a decision is awaited on whether the race will be run as scheduled this year with only days left until the start of the new season.

"I am happy to keep a round of Formula One at Nürburgring," the 84-year-old said in an email to German news agency dpa on Friday. "The promoter is aware of this and we have met to discuss this. The problem is that they are not prepared to pay the fee."

Eccelstone had told dpa on Thursday that the fate of the race would be decided "by the weekend."

"[I'm] not sure it's going to happen," he added. If the race is canceled, it would be the first time that Germany has not hosted a race in the F1 season since 1960.

Last month, Ecclestone told German newspaper "Rhein Zeitung" that no F1 race would be hosted in Germany in 2015 because "the visitor numbers were so poor in recent years that it is not economically viable."

Despite having two possible venues, the German Grand Prix's inabilty to attract fans and therefore revenue in recent years, has called its position in the race calendar into question.

This year's race was due to be held at the famous Nürburgring racetrack in the Eifel region of Germany. Around 45,000 fans came to see the event there in 2013 and 52,000 fans were on hand last year in Hockenheim, the other German track. In comparison, around 120,000 viewers were on hand at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2014.

The 2015 Formula One season is set to begin on March 15, with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

apc/al (dpa, Reuters)