2013 F1 calendar finally taking shape

Flags. Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday 17 April 2011.The format of the 2013 Formula One World Championship calendar continues to become clearer, with the season unlikely to run to 20 races.

The signs grow ever stronger that the Nurburgring will host the German Grand Prix, while the scheduled 20-race calendar will dwindle to just 19 rounds this year as bids by Austria and Turkey falter.

Bernie Ecclestone has said this week that he hopes that talks this week will confirm the Nurburgring’s fate.

“We consider it very positive that Mr Ecclestone is optimistic about these final negotiations,” said circuit spokesman Karl-Heinz Steinkuehler.

“The last talks will be conducted in the near future,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “Then there will certainly be an outcome.”

AM&S speculated that Briton Ecclestone, 82, might even inject some of his own money.

“We cannot afford to lose the German Grand Prix,” he has said.

As for the 20th race date, set aside for a European venue in the wake of New Jersey’s demise, F1 chief executive Ecclestone has now ruled out Austria.

And now, Turkey’s chances have also collapsed.

The Hurriyet daily reported on Wednesday that prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to approve state funding for F1’s return to Istanbul Park.

So what venue will host the 20th race now?

“Probably none,” Ecclestone is quoted by Austria’s Krone newspaper.

“[The weekend of] July 21 would therefore remain free. Longer holidays for everyone,” he smiled. (GMM)

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