Nurburgring cannot afford Ecclestone’s fee

A Nurburgring official has admitted the track is unable to host an F1 race next season.

As per the existing German GP alternating scheme with Hockenheim, the Nurburgring was due to return to the sport’s calendar in 2013. Hwoever the circuit has succumbed to its financial problems, recently commencing an insolvency process.

The future looked brighter last week, when the governing Rhineland-Palatinate state agreed to guarantee a loan so that the Nurburgring can service its debts.

Nurburgring Automotive GmbH (NAG) chief Jorg Lindner said: “I am very optimistic that Formula One will be going to the Nurburgring next year.”

He said talks with Bernie Ecclestone would take place over the summer.

“We don’t want to lose any of the racetracks, and we need to keep the race in Germany,” said F1’s chief executive, Ecclestone. “We will do our best.”

But the Nurburgring’s development chief, Thomas Schmidt, has dealt the situation a renewed blow by revealing that Ecclestone would have to dramatically reduce or even forgo F1’s race sanctioning fee.

Schmidt told DPA news agency that, in the “current situation”, the Nurburgring cannot afford to pay that sort of money.

“If Ecclestone accepts an offer without this typical fee, we can certainly keep Formula One,” he said.

Otherwise, “We simply don’t have the money”, Schmidt admitted.

He said he is “confident” a solution will ultimately be found, but warned that an F1 race is “not absolutely necessary” for the Nurburgring’s survival.


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