Germany set to be dropped from 2017 F1 calendar

Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:10pm EST
 
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The German Grand Prix is set to be dropped from next year's Formula One calendar for financial reasons, despite Nico Rosberg being favorite to win the world title this weekend and the dominance of champions Mercedes.

Hockenheim boss Georg Seiler was quoted by German media as saying the economic risks of hosting the event in successive years were too great for his circuit, which hosted it this season and has a contract for 2018.

Next July would have been the turn of the Nuerburgring under an alternation agreement but that circuit's owners have baulked at paying the hosting fees, with the race also absent from the calendar last season.

Germany was listed on a provisional 21-race 2017 schedule with an asterisk, along with Canada and Brazil. Those races are now expected to stay, with tickets going on sale in Canada on Thursday.

The official calendar is due to be approved by the governing FIA at the end of the month.

There was no immediate confirmation from the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, although he has sounded pessimistic about Germany's prospects in recent days.

"We tried to keep them (Hockenheim) alive, but they've run out of tablets," the 86-year-old had told motorsport.com at the this month's Brazilian Grand Prix. "I'll put my money on it not happening."

Championship leader Rosberg, who was born in Wiesbaden, will become Germany's third world champion after Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel if the Mercedes driver finishes on the podium in this weekend's Abu Dhabi season-ender.   Continued...

 
Formula One - F1 - Brazilian Grand Prix - Circuit of Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil - 12/11/2016 - Mercedes' Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany drives during the qualifying session.   REUTERS/Nacho Doce