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F1

F1 boss ‘trying’ to save German Grand Prix

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone hopes to keep the German Grand Prix on this season's calendar despite money problems at the tracks, he said in an interview published by Britain's Press Association on Tuesday.

F1 boss 'trying' to save German Grand Prix
Photo: DPA

The 84-year-old British business magnate appeared to rule out the possibility of the race happening in an email sent to a German newspaper on Monday in which he said it would not be "commercially viable". 

But he subsequently backtracked and said he would know by this weekend whether the race will take place or not.

Referring to Germany's two F1 circuits, Hockenheim and Nurburgring, Ecclestone, chief executive of the Formula One group, said: "Basically we haven't a contract with either venue.

"We are trying to get something done, we are trying to help them. In the end, and God only knows why, the audience in Germany is lousy.

"I've no idea why it should be, because they've a German manufacturer in Mercedes who are constructors' champions, they had a driver in Sebastian (Vettel) who won four successive drivers' championships.

"But they have not been selling enough tickets to make it work. It's purely commercial, so I'm trying to be a little bit helpful to them.

"We're trying to rescue it, but I can't guarantee we will. We are doing our best, and maybe by this weekend we'll have an answer. I hope so." 

The German Grand Prix traditionally alternates between Hockenheim and Nurburgring and was due to take place at the latter this year, but the venue has been beset by financial difficulties.

"If we do something, it is looking like Hockenheim will probably be the most-likely venue," Ecclestone added.

"The bottom line is there is still a chance and we hope to know more by the weekend."

This year's race is scheduled to take place on July 17-19.

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MERCEDES

Rosberg wins German Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg completed a memorable week for himself and his nation on Sunday when he cruised to his first win in his home German Grand Prix.

Rosberg wins German Grand Prix
It was the first German Grand Prix win of Rosberg's career. Photo: DPA

The championship leader, cheered on by Germany World Cup winner Lukas Podolski in the Mercedes pits, extended his lead to 14 points over teammate Lewis Hamilton, who charged up to finish third from 20th on the grid.

"It's an amazing feeling to win at home. It's a very special day," said Rosberg.
   
Splitting the Mercedes men in second was the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
   
Rosberg came home a comfortable 20.7 seconds ahead of the Finn at the end of an enthralling 67-lap contest.
   
Hamilton was only 1.8 seconds behind Bottas and ahead of defending champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and Daniel Ricciardo, in the second Red Bull.
   
Rosberg's win came after a week in which he had married his long-term girlfriend Vivian Sibold, signed an extended contract with Mercedes and celebrated Germany's World Cup victory.
   
It was his fourth win of the season and the seventh of his career.
   
But even such joyful supremacy was overshadowed in an incident-filled race by the bold passing pace of Hamilton, who started at the rear of the grid following his high speed crash in qualifying.
   
The Englishman delivered a thrilling series of dramatic moves muscling his way through the field, but in the end was unable to grab second in the closing laps as Bottas hung on to register an historic podium for the resurgent Williams team.
   
I had great fun," said Hamilton. "I did as good as I could. It was hard to get through the pack safely… it was hard to overtake so I'm glad to get some points today."
   
On one passing move Hamilton's car clipped the McLaren belonging to Jenson Button.
   
"I had a little bit of a collision with Jenson," he reflected. "I thought he was going to open the door which he has done a couple of times lately but that was my bad judgement."
   
Another German, Nico Hulkenberg of Force India finished seventh ahead of Jenson Button and his McLaren team-mate, Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen, and Sergio Perez who finished 10th in the second Force India.
   
There was drama at the start when the Williams of Felipe Massa, starting from the second row, somersaulted spectacularly.
 

   
The Brazilian's car came to rest in the safety gravel and he walked away unscathed after the accident triggered when Kevin Magnussen's McLaren clipped the rear of his car.
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