JULY 3, 2006
Hockenheim feels the heat
The Hockenheim track, the home in recent years of the German Grand Prix, has a contract until the end of 2008. There are options for the future but the recent decision by the German government not to go on fighting to keep tobacco sponsorship is likely to mean that all bets are off and that the circuit will have to come up with more cash if it wants to stay on the F1 calendar. There is talk of races in Mexico and Korea but neither seem to be very serious at the moment and it is much more likely that the squeeze on races will be caused because Suzuka wants to keep a race and because the Spanish want another event in Valencia - and are willing to pay for it. There are also projects in places such as India and Russia but that has been the case for years and nothing has yet come of either.
The teams are happy with 18 races but will probably go up to 19 or 20 if the money is right although there is resistance to this because of the stresses, strains and extra costs that are incurred by back-to-back events.
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