The Nurburgring has initiated discussions with Liberty Media as it seeks a return of the iconic venue to the Formula 1 calendar as early as next year. The German Grand Prix has been an inconsistent affair in the last few years, with no race organised in 2015 and 2017 following the circuit’s inability to meet F1’s financial requirements. The race will return to Hockernheim next summer however, but Nurburgring boss Mirco Markfort would like to see the German Grand Prix alternate once again between the country’s two circuits, providing conditions are right.
“We want to get Formula 1 back at the Ring,” he told Kolner Express newspaper. “If possible already in 2019. But this is only possible if meaningful economic conditions are taken into account.” Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has highlighted in the recent past the importance of Germany for the future of the sport: “Germany is very important. It is the largest and most prosperous country in western Europe with a great sports history,” he explained – “Our constructors’ world champion is German. We would like to build on what we already have in Germany, and an event is obviously an important part of it.”
Markfort has therefore engaged in discussions with Carey, hoping a reasonable deal can be struck in the coming months. “The business model a la Ecclestone is passé. It does not pay off for us in ticket revenue alone. We need clarity by the Hockenheim race in July,” explained Markfort.
News regarding a possible Dutch Prand Prix revival has also been speculated during recent weeks. However, former F1 driver Robert Doornbos has played down hopes of such a possibility. In recent days and weeks, off the back of Max Verstappen’s meteoric popularity, Zandvoort and Assen have indicated their desire to bid for a grand prix of The Netherlands. But Dutchman Doornbos insisted: “The chances are still small. Zandvoort has estimated the costs and Charlie Whiting has inspected the track in Assen, so that is positive news,” he told Ziggo Sport Totaal. “But you cannot forget about the competition.” There are already so many European races and this year there are even three in a row — in France, Austria and the UK,” the former Red Bull and Minardi driver said of the controversial F1 ‘triple header’. “There are also several other countries that want grands prix,” said Doornbos. “However, the F1 leadership are very enthusiastic about Verstappen, so it is possible.”