UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT: The financially-troubled Nurburgring has been purchased by a Russian billionaire for the equivalent of €77-million. Image: AFP
London - A Russian billionaire is now the full owner of the fabled Formula 1 circuit the Nurburgring.
In late 2014, we reported that Viktor Kharitonin, who co-founded the pharmaceutical company Pharmstandard, had bought into the embattled German GP venue.
Forbes Russia now reports that Kharitonin, 43, has upped his stake from 80% to 99%.
Kharitonin told Forbes: "Today we have closed the deal."
Forbes claiming the value of the new transaction is some €38-million.
It is believed Kharitonin has paid €77-million in total for the circuit, with the minority shareholder GetSpeed keeping a symbolic 1%.
Nurburgring to host F1 again?
Amid the Nurburgring's well-documented financial and ownership troubles, Germany fell off the F1 calendar in 2015 and is once again back in doubt for 2017.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he came close to buying the Nurburgring, but the then owners opted for another offer "for the sake of one or two million".
Ecclestone told motorsport-magazin.com in late 2015: "I think we can say for sure that there will not be a race" in 2017.
Explaining the 2015 absence now, Kharitonin said: "We ourselves refused because they did not agree with the organisers on financial matters."
Kharitonin, however, claims talks with Ecclestone will resume, according to Forbes Russia.