APRIL 24, 2015
German GP demise good for Austria says Lauda
Niki Lauda insists he has no sympathy for organisers of the now-defunct 2015 German grand prix.
After a six-decade run for the key German market on the F1 calendar, neither Hockenheim nor the Nurburgring could agree a deal with Bernie Ecclestone for this year.
"We would have accepted 50 per cent of the price of the contract for one year," the F1 supremo said in Bahrain. "It still left them in trouble."
Ecclestone added that the same fate could now befall organisers of the fabled Italian grand prix at Monza, as he warned: "Nobody is indispensible.
"We have other great races that can step in," the 84-year-old is quoted by Speed Week.
Ecclestone's argument is that if European hosts like Spa can afford to pay the fee, so too can those in Germany and Italy.
The Austrian grand prix, for instance, is now run by the energy drink company Red Bull at the former A1-Ring circuit.
"When you see how hard Asia and other places have worked to get a race, I would have never believed that we would get it here," Austrian F1 legend Gerhard Berger said in Vienna this week.
Ecclestone has said repeatedly that although "There are lots of things some people would like, they don't have them because they can't afford them".
Mercedes team chairman Lauda, therefore, insists he has no sympathy for the stricken German race promoters.
"They complain about having to pay Bernie Ecclestone but only have themselves to blame," the triple world champion said.
He also said the demise of the German grand prix will now help June's race in Austria.
"As there is no race in Germany now, many people will come here instead," said Lauda.