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Merc had plans to help save German F1 GP

2015-03-23 07:00

REAL JOY: Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was ecstatic about winning his home German Formula 1 GP but the stands were half-empty. Image: AP

LONDON, England - Formula 1 champion team Mercedes tried to keep the German GP on the 2015 calendar but an offer of financial assistance was rejected and the race was struck off.

The German automaker said: "The German GP is a core race on the F1 calendar and we have a significant interest in this race taking place. Mercedes-Benz 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 that Mercedes had been willing to cover half of any potential losses and to pay for a significant amount of promotion.

FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES

F1 's governing body, the International Automobile Federation, issued a revised calendar on Friday (March 20) with Germany about to be absent from the calendar for the first time since 1960. The Nurburgring 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 in 2014, organisers were unwilling to risk a further loss with so little time to sell tickets and prepare. The track still has a contract to host the race in 2016.

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

"In principle," the company said, "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."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

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