/ Motorsport

2013 German Grand Prix is in doubt, warns Bernie Ecclestone

Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 13:17 | Comments

Sebastian Vettel won the 2012 German Grand Prix but may not get the chance to defend his win
Sebastian Vettel won the 2012 German Grand Prix but may not get the chance to defend his win

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has blamed political in-fighting as one of the reasons behind a lack of a venue to date for this year's German Grand Prix.

Under the rotational system it shares with Hockenheim, this year the race should be taking place at the Nurburgring on July 7.

However, the Nurburgring has endured severe financial difficulties in recent times, at one point narrowly avoiding bankruptcy last year.

The knock-on effect has naturally led to a stalling in negotiations with regard to the hosting of this year's event.

On two occasions this month Ecclestone has said the race will not be held at the Nurburgring because of financial issues.

The fall-back position is for Hockenheim to play host this year, but according to Ecclestone, therein lies further difficulty for the 82- year-old.

The two circuits come under the auspices of different automobile associations in Germany, who pride themselves on staging a race known as the 'German Grand Prix'.

"It's all a little bit political, with different political groups fighting each other," Ecclestone explained to the Press Association.

"You have the AvD, one club there that looks after the Nurburgring, and the ADAC, another club, which looks after Hockenheim.

"The Nurburgring is where the race should take place, and the AvD say unless they can't do it then it can't take place.

"We've said to them we don't have to call it the German Grand Prix this year, we can call it the Grand Prix of Europe.

"It's all a bit messy. At the moment the race is on-off, on-off, but we're doing our best to get it sorted.

"We'll try and make it happen."

If Germany drops off the calendar there is the possibility of only 18 races being staged this year from an originally hoped-for 20.

With Germany in doubt, there also appears no viable host for the free race date of July 19-21 as Turkey was due to return, but has since fallen by the wayside.

The likes of France, Portugal and Austria have all been mentioned to fill in, but it now seems highly likely there will be no race that weekend.

If Germany also goes, F1 would find itself in an unusual position of staging just one grand prix in eight weeks in high summer, that in Hungary between the British and Belgian races on June 30 and August 25 respectively.

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