Facelift planned for Nurburgring

THE Nurburgring circuit is to undergo a new facelift that will see the infamous Castrol Esses replaced by a purpose-built stadium section.

The German track, which will hold this weekend's European Grand Prix, is undergoing the facelift in a bid to reduce the likelihood of first-lap accidents, caused by the tight funneling of cars immediately after the start.

The $6 million project will include an extra 10,000 seats in the Mercedes Stadium, and provide an extra overtaking opportunity on the track.

The Nurburgring has been touted as a possible casualty when plans for a Moscow Grand Prix are completed but the owners of the track insist they are confident the circuit has a long-term future on the F1 calendar.

"We're carrying on until our present contract expires at the end of 2004," said a circuit spokesman. "We're not under time pressure to get a new contract just yet."

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