German GP to be shelved next year

ABU DHABI • The German Grand Prix is set to be dropped from next year's Formula One calendar for financial reasons, despite Nico Rosberg being the favourite to win the world title tomorrow and the dominance of champions Mercedes.

Hockenheim boss Georg Seiler was quoted by German media as saying the economic risks of hosting the event in successive years were too great for his circuit, having hosted it this season with a contract in place for 2018.

Next July would have been the turn of the Nurburgring circuit under an alternation agreement but its owners have baulked at paying the hosting fees due.

Germany was listed on a provisional 21-race 2017 schedule with an asterisk, along with Canada and Brazil. The other two races are now expected to stay, with tickets going on sale in Canada on Thursday.

There was no immediate confirmation from the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone, although he was pessimistic about Germany's prospects in recent days.

"We tried to keep them (Hockenheim) alive, but they've run out of tablets," the 86-year-old told motorsport.com at this month's Brazilian Grand Prix. "I'll put my money on it not happening."

Germany held two races a year during seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher's heyday, with the Nurburgring run as the European Grand Prix.

But attendances have dwindled and only 57,000 fans attended this year's race, below the levels required to break even.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2016, with the headline 'German GP to be shelved next year'. Print Edition | Subscribe