Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is hoping to know by the weekend whether a German Grand Prix will take place this year.

The situation was clouded on Monday when Ecclestone responded to an enquiry from Rhein-Zeitung newspaper via email in which he appeared to categorically rule out the race happening.

On FOM (Formula One Management) headed paper, Ecclestone said: "I am just as sorry that there will not be a Formula One race in Germany as our fans.

"It is just a case that as the attendance has been so low for the last few years that it is not commercially viable for the promoters in Germany."

As the race alternates between Hockenheim and Nurburgring, it should be the latter's turn to play host this year, but a raft of owners and financial issues have plagued the venue.

That has led to Ecclestone negotiating with Hockenheim's promoters in the hope they can step into the breach for the 17-19 July event, but the clock is ticking.

"Basically we haven't a contract with either venue," said Ecclestone speaking to Press Association Sport.

"We are trying to get something done, we are trying to help them. In the end, and God only knows why, the audience in Germany is lousy.

"I've no idea why it should be because they've a German manufacturer in Mercedes who are constructors' champions, they had a driver in Sebastian (Vettel) who won four successive drivers' championships.

"But they have not been selling enough tickets to make it work. It's purely commercial, so I'm trying to be a little bit helpful to them.

"We're trying to rescue it, but I can't guarantee we will. We are doing our best, and maybe by this weekend we'll have an answer. I hope so."

"He would like the race, obviously, which is why he bought the bloody place!" - Ecclestone on the Nurburgring's new owner 

In 2013, just 45,000 fans were in attendance at the Nurburgring on race day, despite the era of Vettel domination at that stage.

Last year at Hockenheim, and even though Mercedes were in control and Nico Rosberg was in the hunt for the title, just 52,000 spectators showed up.

Looking at the situation with both venues, Ecclestone added: "If we do something it is looking like Hockenheim will probably be the most-likely venue.

"The Nurburgring has just been sold again (in October) for the third time and a Russian guy (Viktor Kharitonin) has bought it.

"When everybody thinks of a Russian owner there is plenty of money, but I met him the other day and I don't think he is enthusiastic for putting in the money.

"He would like the race, obviously, which is why he bought the bloody place!

"The bottom line is there is still a chance and we hope to know more by the weekend."