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Nurburgring grabs long-term deal

THE Nurburgring has moved quickly to ensure that it will host the Luxembourg Grand Prix for five years - starting this year - to avoid the race being replaced by one in the Asia Pacific region. The deal means that as many of 12 of the existing 17 races now have contracts which run into the next century, which will make it difficult for F1 to expand in Asia without adding more events to the calendar.

The threat of losing out to Asia was the primary motivation for the circuit owners - Nurburgring GmbH to sign the deal. Ecclestone demanded that the circuit undertakes the build of a new medical center.

In Melbourne, Ecclestone said that Europe would have to lose at least two Grands Prix to make way for races in Asia. The French, British, Spanish, Austrian, San Marino, Italian and Luxembourg GPs all have long-term deals and Belgium, Monaco and Germany are unlikely to be dropped. This means that the races most at risk are the Portuguese and Hungarian GPs.

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