The 2013 Formula 1 schedule picture keeps getting fuzzier as concerns about the future of the German Grand Prix are growing deeper.
The race is currently slated to be the ninth of the season and to take place on Jul. 7, but the exact location is now up in the air. The original plan was to hold it at the Nurburgring facility, but financial concerns have caused Formula One Group head Bernie Ecclestone to halt negotiations with the circuit. Commenting on F1’s view of the situation, Ecclestone stated, “We do not accept it as financially feasible”.
The 2012 German Grand Prix was held at Hockenheim, but thus far there is no word on if that track is favored, or even being considered, to host the race. Ecclestone may just be keeping things quiet for now since this is not the only scheduling speed bump that Formula 1 has hit concerning the 2013 calendar.
There is already an empty slot in the schedule on Jul. 21 which has been left vacant for a European race. Turkey was originally favored to fill the gap, but financial issues caused that plan to be scrapped. Most recently it was rumored that Portugal’s Algarve circuit was vying to fill the date and that a race in France was also a possibility. The Jul. 21 spot seems unlikely to be filled, but finding a new site for the German race seems much more realistic.
If Ecclestone and F1 Group do not find a viable site for the German Grand Prix and seal a deal, the schedule could be cut down to 18 races. Should that happen, there would be no race events for nearly a month – from the time the British Grand Prix ends on Jun. 30 until the time that practice runs begin at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Jul. 26.
Hopefully Hockenheim or another site will step forward and host the German GP. Formula 1 has held a race in Germany every year since 1956, with the 2007 event billed as the European Grand Prix, and it would truly be a disappointment to see that streak broken.