Mercedes offered to help Hockenheim host F1 race

Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:28am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Formula One world champions Mercedes have revealed that they tried to keep the German Grand Prix on this year's calendar but an offer of financial assistance was rejected and the race was struck off.

"The German GP is a core race on the Formula One calendar and we have a significant interest in this race taking place," the German carmaker said in a statement.

"Mercedes-Benz has participated in discussions and offered a significant contribution to support a successful German GP, at the Hockenheimring, in 2015. This offer was unfortunately not accepted."

Media reports indicated Mercedes had been willing to cover half of any potential losses and to pay for a significant amount of promotion.

Formula One's governing body, the International Automobile Federation, issued a revised calendar on Friday with Germany absent for the first time since 1960.

The Nuerburgring had been due to host the July 19 race under an alternation agreement but a change of ownership and financial difficulties left Hockenheim as the only option.

However, with low attendances at that circuit last year, organizers were unwilling to risk a further loss with so little time to sell tickets and get ready. It still has a contract to host the race in 2016.

Mercedes said the calendar was a matter for the FIA, commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone and individual promoters.

"In principle, we do not believe it is the job of the competing teams to provide financial support for individual events and we do not believe this is a sustainable model for the future," it said.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

 
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates winning the German F1 Grand Prix at the Hockenheim racing circuit July 20, 2014.                 REUTERS/Michael Dalder