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The oversupply of Formula One standard circuits and the potential rise of the super sub circuit - November 30, 2012 by admin
istanbul pit straight

Photo Courtesy of Ph-Stop

There will be more races added to the calendar over the next few years, not just Sochi in Russia and New Jersey in the US but the likes of Thailand, Greece, Argentina and Mexico are planning circuits, there’s also existing circuits looking to get races back though.

A few years ago there were few if any circuits of the right standard to host formula one, which weren’t already hosting it: that standard including not just the track and its safety standards but facilities for spectators, guests and press and infrastructure including most importantly transport links.

Magny Cours left the calendar partly due to poor road links, since improved, the transport links for Paul Ricard have been questioned regarding their suitability recently by the French Government. Other circuits that are closer to F1 standards though but currently don’t host F1 include Jerez, still used for testing but a little dated, Estoril a little dated now and the circuit fell out with F1 with a last minute cancellation in 1997.

Then there’s Portimao, a testing circuit without enough facilities for a major race, the same is true for Valencia (Circuit_Ricardo_Tormo), the permanent circuit rather than the street circuit. There’s Imola which would need some safety improvements to host F1, which may not be practical without redesigning the layout. There’s also the Red Bull Ring, previously the A1 ring and before that, the site at least, of the Österreichring, no races have been held here since 2003 but Dietrich Materschitz has bought it up to standard.

The Red Bull Ring could host races right now and so could Istanbul Park, off the calendar for no reason but lack of spectators and

Turnouts for testing aren't bad: pre-season 2011, photo by Gil Abrantes

Pre-season testing 2011, photo by Gil Abrantes

therefore lack of money to compete with better offers Bernie Ecclestone is getting from elsewhere. Magny Cours as mentioned could host F1 now too and may even get a chance in 2013 to fill in for the postponed inaugural American Grand Prix in New Jersey.

Probably the only other current track that could potentially host F1 in the world right now is Indianapolis and we can discount that for at least the rest of Bernie’s lifetime.

What future for these circuits that have the overheads of maintaining an F1 standard circuit but no F1? There will however be more in the near future, especially in Europe where Bernie wants to slash the calendar down to only a handful of European races, with numbers as low as four mentioned.

The Nurburgring could be gone from the calendar very soon as the circuit is in financial trouble and may be unable to maintain a contract going forwards even if it finds a buyer and even on the current basis on which it shares the German Grand Prix with Hockenheim alternating each year. Hockenheim may struggle to finance a race every year, Barcelona and Valencia’s Street Circuit will alternate but neither circuit is completely safe.

Spa Franchorchamps’s medium term future is safe with a new contract signed this year (2012) and Silverstone has a long contact, Monaco isn’t going anywhere and the same can probably be said for Monza. The Hungaroring’s owners should feel a little nervous then, especially with a race in Russia at the Black Sea port of Sochi, ensuring a race in Eastern Europe.

For those who dream of the return of classic tracks like already mentioned Imola as well as Brands Hatch or Zandvoort there seems to be no room for this sadly and Tilke’s grip on designing circuits doesn’t seem to be set to end, with the exception of the new Piraeus Street Circuit on the edge of Athens. Speaking of Greece in fact they may not only be planning this circuit but a F1 standard circuit at Patras is also tabled, though if this does become a reality testing is the only way it is likely to see F1 action.

Ok so that’s the situation now with over supply of F1 circuits so what can be done with them? Well maybe we will see the rise of the super sub circuit?

A few times in the past races have been cancelled and then moved elsewhere, often last miunute: teams, drivers and FOM prefer to keep a round in place and ideally on the same day and time to fit in with pre-planned TV schedules; not to mention ensuring the championship isn’t cut short when a race could be crucial for the championship. In the past though there weren’t any circuits ready to fill in these gaps. If Bahrain had been cancelled this year there was talk of the race going to Turkey the year before Magny Cours was the only circuit mentioned as a replacement and this never looked likely.

Estoril being replaced for the last round by Jerez in 1997 was the last time a swap actually took place, the last minute cancellation of the last round really wouldn’t have been an option with the championship so finally poised.
In future though circuits could keep themselves ready to cash in on other circuits not being able to host a race, and financial problems aren’t uncommon for circuit owners nor are problems completing work on time.

A circuit able to quickly get ready for a race could cash in with reduced fees, if any, and get fans in as a result by not needing to charge as much, though some tracks would have less trouble anyhow with the Hungaroring for example always well attended and with a big market in Scandinavia and central and Eastern Europe who would jump at the chance to go to a race without having to travel as far.

The Sochi Park circuit is due to have its track put down after the Winter Olympics on the same site at the beginning of 2014, there should be time but this could be one opportunity for a super-sub circuit and more immediately Bernie Ecclestone would like to add in a race to replace the cancelled New Jersey race and has said he would be happy to do a deal for a French Grand Prix at Magny Cours or Paul Ricard, which he happens to own.

Circuit of the Americas: A Success? A Triumph? Or Maybe too soon to tell? - November 20, 2012 by admin
Circuit of the Americas Turn 1 for the first time

Circuit of the Americas Turn 1 for the first time photo by Patrick Breen

So, after years of planning and speculation, not just over what the circuit would be like but also whether it would ever be finished or raced upon, we finally got our chance to see what kind of a race the Circuit of The Americas provided. Bernie Ecclestone said the circuit exceeded even his expectations and drivers and team principals such as Christian Horner have also heaped praise on the circuit since the race.

The 2012 US Grand Prix was one of the best of the season, that can’t be denied but whether that is down to the track or not is something that may need further examination before we declare the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) a complete triumph.

So let’s look first at what isn’t down to the circuit that made the race one that is at least bordering on the designation ‘a classic’.

Well Button’s race was one of the most exciting individual performances and this came from a qualifying throttle failure, at least in part, meaning he started twelfth on the grid. From twelfth on the grid Button slipped back at the start due partly to a less grippy starting position than 11th and 13th but it was also due to some bad luck getting blocked going round turn 1; or was it simply that turn 1 has been designed to provide chances for the brave?

The dirty grid positions are not part of the circuits design and won’t be as bad in 2013, as the asphalt will be a year older and less greasy with less residual dust from building work around. However COTA is in the dessert and so like in Bahrain some dust is inevitable.

These factors so far though wouldn’t have been enough alone to create a great race so is it the circuit? Well the biggest influencer has to be between the circuit and the tyres.

Cooler than expected conditions in the Texas dessert meant that the medium tyres couldn’t be switched on fast and the hard tyres seemed to take an eternity. This for a start made qualifying entertaining with cars out on track lap after lap as their tyres got warmer and their times got faster. Some got it just right before the sessions ended, some got it all wrong and this includes Rosberg who was forced to come in and head out on fresh, cold, tyres leaving him perilously close to dropping out in Q1. The Mercedes struggled all weekend though, Ferrari struggled in qualifying but they were better in the race once their tyres reached operating temperature and Massa showed one area where he can outperform Alonso is in getting his tyres up to temperature, which saw him qualify above Alonso and set some blistering times late on in the race with the hard tyres.

In the race of course we were given cars getting up to speed on tyres that were hard to heat with the hard tyres making those that changed on to them early sitting ducks at first and most drivers sitting ducks to Button once he did get his Hard tyres working at the start after a poor first few laps.

Ok so to get such an exciting race then maybe next year we need the ‘wrong’ tyre allocation again, Pirelli have put the show ahead of performance in the past so this isn’t out of the question. Take all of these factors away though and what does the circuit offer?

Well first of all, and this shouldn’t be under-valued, it doesn’t seem to fan out cars like some circuits, this means cars can follow in long trails within a second of one another as was happening during the race; including a train behind Di Resta early on of maybe 8 or 9 cars. This led to some good mid-pack action and meant that cars could leap on opportunities.

At one point in the UK Sky coverage the commentators mentioned the DRS might have been too easy, we would disagree though and suggest the number of DRS overtakes was due to cars being close enough together that the following car could take advantage when the car in front slipped up, which on the dusty circuit they did numerous times, and also when cars were going different speeds, which with people going on to and warming up tyres at different times was happening a lot as well.  The fact that many DRS attempts did fail showed that the DRS zone was about right and with Hamilton and Vettel on a similar pace it took a delay, arguably a mistake, for Vettel passing Karthikeyan for Hamilton to be given an opportunity.

The snake section though was an issue for cars passing traffic, some would argue that an experienced driver would have been careful to plan where they approached a car, Vettel would disagree but he also seemed to have unreasonable demands on Karthikeyan to make himself disappear in this section. Is this factor a good or a bad thing? It creates excitement though some fans would rather see the best man win rather than see these unexpected events thrown into the mix, but with bullet proof reliability there is already perhaps less unpredictability in F1 than ever before.

Another point worth making is that the cars looked beautiful through the snake/ Ss section, the change of direction at speed showing what marvels they are. This is even more important when you consider this is a showcase for F1 to the American public who may be more familiar with racing on oval tracks.

In other sections of the track however the width is there to pass safely, if not easily, and up and down the field we saw some great close racing with only a few moves that could have been given penalties and none that did, a rarity for a race in 2012.

250,000 spectators visited COTA over the 3 days, maybe not capacity but not bad considering the worries some potential attendees had over lack of accommodation in the area and the race potentially being cancelled if the circuit wasn’t finished, which may have seen some people stay away.

So what will Americans think themselves? There was some great racing but maybe not the crashes that are more common in many American motor sports series; the first corner seemed to be made for a pileup and despite the space cars inevitably went for the racing line as they turned in and many had to dive off the track, it looked like a matter of moments before someone spun and a pileup occurred. Surely next year the start can’t go off without any incident?

Then again maybe the fans who come to motor racing events see crashes and smashes will never be converted to F1 where retaining walls are a couple of hundred metres back from the track and have a ultra modern tec-pro barrier or thick row of tyres, rather than a solid wall and catch fencing. Maybe it is motorsport fans in America who love close racing and super human ability to overtake around a tricky track without crashing who will be converted to F1, and these do exist in the US as well, in which case the Circuit of the Americas is an ideal circuit.

 

New York GP stumble is chance for the French - November 2, 2012 by admin

 

Paul_Ricard_tribunes_stands

The Paul Ricard circuit, photo by Baptiste Vialatte

So the New York Grand Prix of America, to be held at Port Imperial has missed the boat with finances and won’t take place in 2013 despite having been put on the provisional calendar as part of a double header with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. It seems though that the French Grand Prix, despite a decision being needed on where it would be held and no finance in place for either option could still be on the 2013 calendar: its advantage being two candidate circuits, Magny Cours and Paul RIcard, that are ready to go.
The return of the French Grand Prix has been a long running saga and it had looked dead in the water for 2013 at least when the new government under President Francois Hollande ordered a review into the race that the previous government had all but signed a contract for: to take place at  at the Paul Ricard circuit close to Marsailles.
The loss of the Grand Prix of America from the calendar though offers an interesting opportunity as it seems that the French Grand Prix may be able to sign a one year deal to fill in next year. This would allow the government of whichever region the race takes place in to minimise their risk, a one off race that was poorly attended would have less potential for loss than a five or more year deal that then loses money each year.

If the French race was successful of course then a new deal could be agreed and another race may be forced to make way or agree a deal to alternate with the French race, though which race this would be is now less obvious since the Belgian Grand Prix signed a new deal to host the their race every year, Spa Frnachorchamps had been considering a race share with the French Grand Prix earlier this year.

The German Grand Prix is a candidate though if the Nurburgring fails to sort out its finances and cannot continue alternating with the Hockenheimring who have said they can host a race every year but may prefer a race every other year if the deal is right.

Whatever happens regarding negotiations for a 2013 French Grand Prix though will probably happen fast or not at all: time is ticking and though the two options of Magny Cours (in central France close to Clermont Ferrand) and Paul Ricard are both up to Formula One standards already there is more to putting on a Grand Prix than this and promoters would want to begin selling tickets as soon as possible, probably by the end of 2012, to ensure enough were sold to cover costs. Of course with a gap in the calendar, and right in the middle of the European season, Bernie may be willing to reduce the cost, especially for a race at the Paul Ricard circuit that he happens to own.

Bernie certainly seems keen on one of the French circuits filling the gap, though he is also in no doubts that the Grand Prix of America will take place at Port Imperial in 2014. Mr Ecclestone this week was quoted as saying of a 2013 French Grand Prix:

“Which circuit they are going to use is one thing… Who is going to pay for it, that’s the bottom line. If they are ready, we can slot it in the calendar.”

Greek Grand Prix still set to be held at Piraeus, Athens - October 11, 2012 by admin
The proposed Piraeus, Athens circuit, as submitted to the FIA and Bernie

The proposed Piraeus, Athens circuit, as submitted to the FIA and Bernie, image supplied by DielpisFormula1

Despite it being built to Grand Prix standards it appears that the new government funded Patras circuit in Greece may not have any plans, even in the long run, to host a Formula One Grand Prix and that rather than a replacement for the other touted Greek Grand Prix circuit at Piraeus, Athens both are likely to be built with the Piraeus Port circuit planning to host a Greek Grand Prix from the off.

 

DielpisFormula1, the group behind the Piraeus circuit, today denied reports that their plan had been cancelled or that the Greek government had decided to back the Patras circuit instead of their development. The plans as we previously reported for a Greek Grand Prix at Piraeus have been submitted to the FIA and to Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management (FOM) and there is no reason to believe that the application has been withdrawn:  it appears in fact that the plans have now also been submitted to the Automobile and Touring Club of Greece (ELPA).

 

Press Release

In a press release today DielpisFormula1’S Architect Athanassios P Papatheodorou made it clear that the project was continuing and that contrary to reports the Greek Government didn’t back their bid the Greek Deputy Minister of Development has in fact given his support for the project to move forward apace.

 

Little news has been heard from the Piraeus project since the plans were submitted to the FIA but the press release also made it clear that Bernie Ecclestone does support the Grand Prix, in principle, we await to hear an outcome therefore.

 

It may be that DielpisFormula1 have chosen to speak out at this time as rumours swirled due to the fact they are still seeking investment, which any doubt on the race’s future could scupper,; the press release ended with Mr Papatheodorou writing:

“In the present time we are making contact with interested investors and we deem that pretty soon the procedure shall be completed, in order for the Greek dream regarding the hosting of F1 races in the Port of Piraeus to come true”

 

The Piraeus circuit will be a temporary circuit around Piraeus, Athens’ main port and Europe’s busiest Ferry Terminal.

Greek government happy to approve investment in Grand Prix circuit - October 6, 2012 by admin
the port at Patras

Patras - photo by Jim Brozovsky

The Greek government has announced plans to release €30 million for the building of a new Formula One standard circuit near to the country’s third city of Patras. The move to unblock the funds has been pushed by the country’s Ministry of Development which hopes the benefits to the country’s struggling economy will outweigh the costs: with just the construction itself likely to create many much needed jobs in the flat construction sector in Greece.

The circuit it is hoped will allow the government to secure a Greek Grand Prix although plans have already been submitted for a race at Piraeus, the main port of Athens, which would have been a street circuit similar to Valencia.

It is unknown whether the plans for this Piraeus circuit may have been turned down already leading to the change in plan, which will see a purpose built circuit built in the country; requiring a larger up front cost but lower annual costs to hold a race. The circuit could also be used as a stage in other championships and it would be hoped would help with grassroots motor sport in Greece itself.

The circuit will cost a total of around €95 million, with other money coming from private investment, and development will be overseen by Racetrack Patras SA at the Xalandrista site just on the edge of the Patras urban area.

Motorsport has never been huge in Greece and it is rallying that is the premier motorsport in the country, with a current round of the World Rally Championship taking place here. Greece has never even had a driver in Formula One though and many will argue that similar problems to those in neighbouring Turkey will result: where too few locals attended the race making it unviable long term.

Those fans in Turkey who did get behind the sport though will perhaps come to Greece to watch the race and Greece is also easily accessible from most of Europe including nearby Italy whose fans certainly do like their F1 and may consider a quick trip over the Adriatic.

US Grand Prix is go Grand Prix of America could be put on hold - September 27, 2012 by admin
Circuit of The Americas

The Circuit of the Americas' Hairpin nears completion earlier this summer, photo by Larry D moore

Some pessimists thought that neither of the mooted Grand Prix in America would ever actually happen but with the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas now cleared as ready for racing, this year’s November 18th US Grand Prix is almost certain to go ahead.

 

The same can’t be said of the Grand Prix of America which should be taking place for the first time in 2013 in New Jersey. Included on last weeks provisional calendar for 2013, the 2013 Grand Prix of America looks unlikely to still be there when a more final calendar is released tomorrow( Friday 28th September) .

 

The Grand Prix of America is,it is understood, already in breach of several of the terms of the contract with Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management company and little progress has been made, with questions still being asked about the financing of the project: the source of which has been kept secret, though presumably Bernie Ecclestone knows.

 

For anyone who suspects Bernie Ecclestone of game playing with his comments on Tuesday that “The organisers have not complied with the terms and conditions of the contract” they should remember this is a race that Bernie Ecclestone dearly wants to happen: along the New Jersey Shore the Manhattan skyline would be the backdrop for the Port Imperial circuit.

 

Ecclestone’s comments on  Tuesday though do give a glimmer of hope: he conceded that the right backer could see the race on the calendar for 2013 and confirmed that “they have come a long way with the circuit”, these comments again suggest though that the problems are to do with the financial side of the race and quite possibly to do with the matter of race staging fees.

 

The Circuit of the Americas problems had been to do with securing funding from the state government (the Port Imperial race is meant to be funded privately): but  as far as the FIA and Charlie Whiting are concerned the Austin Circuit of the Americas is now ready for the US Grand Prix on November 18th, almost a month before the FIA’s deadline for homologation a month before the event.

 

The Circuit of the Americas  at Austin had construction delayed following contract problems between organisers and Formula One Management but will see its inaugural grand prix, and the first in the US since 2007, this year having caught up on the delays that came when work actually stopped in November last year.

 

It is of course highly likely that if the American Grand Prix in New Jersey can’t be organised in time to be put on the 2013 calander it will be possible to simply delay it until 2014. Many Formula One bosses as well as Mr Ecclestone himself believe that the United States warrants two Grand Prix each year due to the importance of the US economy and the number of multinationals, including current and potential sponsors, based in the country.

2013 Provisional Formula One Calendar and Singapore GP 5 year extension - September 23, 2012 by admin
The Singapore main straight, photo by LGEPR

The Singapore main straight, photo by LGEPR

The 2013 provisional Formula One Calendar was released in the run up to the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix with no major surprises and in another unsurprising move the hugely successful Singapore Grand Prix has had a contract extension for 5 more years up to and includeding 2017.

 

The initial five year deal that bought F1 to Singapore began in 2008 and the sports only true night race has been very popular with fans and drivers: apart from the turn ten chicane which driver’s would like to see replaced and it is understood this may have been discussed in negotiations.

 

Despite this potential tweak though the layout of the  Singapore Grand Prix is one of Formula One’s best street circuits looking back over the sport’s history: with overtaking oppurtunities and plenty of good racing. There have been a number of hastily put together street curcuits in the past that have failed to put together good races and even Valencia, despite massive investment, failed to deliver what most fans would describe as exciting races, up until 2012, despite this though as anticipated there is no European Grand Prix at Valencia in 2013 though it is likely that it will be back in place of Barcelona in 2014 and that the races will alternate going forwards.

 

The other big change to the 2013 calendar is the inclusion of a second race in the US, the American Grand Prix in New Jersey scheduled for the weekend after Canada giving a North American double header. Of course the New Jersy race is still not certian with some legal issues and contract issues thought to be outstanding and with a cloak of secrecy over exactly where funding is coming.

 

Question marks also remain over the Korean Grand Prix at Yeongam that is awaiting the conclusion of contract negotiations, the race is proving too expensive for the local government though and if no discount is offered by Bernie Ecclestone the race could be off the calendar.

 

The German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring also is yet to be confirmed as the holding company who own the circuit are in financial difficulties, if the Nurburgring can’t host the 2013 German Grand Prix the Hockenheimring, which alternates with the Nurburgring, have said they are ready to step in.

 

The complete provisional calendar

March 17th         Australia (Melbourne /Albert Park)
March 24th         Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur /Sepang)
April 14th         China (Shanghai / Shanghai International Circuit)
April 21st         Bahrain (Sakhir)
May 12th           Spain (Barcelona /Circuit de Catalunya)
May 26th           Monaco (Monte Carlo /Circuit de Monaco)
June 9th           Canada (Montreal /Circuits Gilles Villeneuve)
June 16th          America (New Jersey) *
June 30th          Britain (Silverstone)
July 21st          Germany (Nurburgring)*
July 28th          Hungary (Budabest /Hungaroring)
September 1st      Belgium (Spa /Spa Franchorchamps)
September 8th      Italy (Monza )
September 22nd     Singapore (Marina Bay)
October 6th        Japan (Suzuka)
October 13th       Korea (Yeongam) *
October 27th       India (New Delhi/ Buddh International Circuit)
November 3rd       Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
November 17th      United States (Austin /Circuit of the Americas)
November 24th      Brazil (Sao Paulo /Interlagos)
Plans for Greek Grand Prix officially submitted - August 14, 2012 by admin
Europe's busiest Passenger port Piraeus, photo by Andrea Mayer-Edoloeyi

Europe's busiest Passenger port Piraeus, photo by Andrea Mayer-Edoloeyi

Following much discussion within and outside of Greece as to whether Greece should even be considering a Grand Prix given its financial situation let alone whether such a project is viable in terms of interest within the country, a plan has been submitted.

 

Kostas Tzavaras a Greek Member of parliament has been ones of the countries politicians to put his support behind the race which organisers believe will actually boost the economy and pay for itself bringing in tourists. Mr Tzavaras has been quoted as saying in reference to the race: “The priority of the government has to be the creation of instruments, which will help the country’s development “.

 

It certainly seems that Greece will need tourists to attend the race in a country with no history in F1 the track is set to be at Piraeus Athen’s main port to the south of the city the hope would be fans would stay in the city, go to the nearby beaches along the coast or they could get a ferry from Piraeus itself which is the main gateway to Greece’s many islands with their holiday resorts.

 

The circuit would be likely to have some resemblance to the Valencia circuit, also based around a harbour and not a permanent track though Valencia has, until this year at least, failed to create exciting races and has also failed to bring in enough spectators. Nearby Turkey has also struggled to make F1 work in a country with no historical link to the sport of famous drivers and the Turkish Grand Prix is no longer on the calendar and the Istanbul Park Circuit rarely used.

 

Not being a permanent circuit the investment required would be less, though the cost per race thereafter would remain high, the decision now though is in the hands of Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management as well as the FIA who now have the full plans put together by architect Thanasis Papatheodorou, meaning this could be the first new circuit for several years not to be designed by Hermann Tilke.

 

 

Magny Cours bid for 2013 French Grand Prix on September 4th - August 13, 2012 by admin
The Magny Cours circuit

The Magny Cours circuit, photo Public Domain

With Paul Ricard still seen as the more likely venue for the potential return of the French Grand Prix in 2013 the Magny Cours circuit’s owners are being given a chance to put their case forward on Tuesday the 4th of September.

 

The French Ministry of Sport decided to review the tabled agreement for a 2013 French Grand Prix at the South France Paul Ricard Circuit, which was close to being signed prior to the French Presidential Elections which saw a change of government; now the French Ministry of Sport have tasked the FFSA (Fédération Française du Sport Automobile/ French Federation of Motor Sport) with researching the best place for the French Grand Prix to be held, if it is viable at all without substantial government funding.

 

It is to the FFSA then including, FFSA president Nicholas Deschaux, that representatives of the Magny Cours circuit will present their case on September the 4th. It is likely to then take a number of weeks for the final report to be prepared and presented to the Ministry of Sport and for the ministry to make a decision and for negotiations for the race to be completed would take a good deal longer meaning a 2013 French Grand Prix looks unlikely though a 2014 French Grand Prix could be a more likely prospect.

European Commission looking into Nurburgring state funding but Ecclestone not giving up on 2013 German GP - August 13, 2012 by admin
The Mereceds Benz stand at the Nurburgring

The Mereceds Benz stand at the Nurburgring, photo by Marc John

At first it looked as if the Rhineland Palatinate government couldn’t help out the Nurburgring’s holding company despite being a major shareholder due to European laws but then they said they could and would and insolvency for Nurburgring GmbH seemed to have been averted. Now though it seems that the European Commission will look into the funding and the delays alone could have a serious effect, luckily for German Formula One fans though Bernie Ecclestone isn’t loosing hope that a solution can be found and seems keen to offer help if needed.

 

The Nurburgring is due to hold the 2013 German Grand Prix, alternating with Hockenheim, and Bernie Ecclestone has been quoted as saying that the purpose of his negotiations are to see “racing at the ring in 2013”.

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