MARCH 27, 2000
The other big rumor at the moment is that Hockenheim is increasingly likely to lose the German GP when the current contract expires after the 2001 race. The owners of the track (the Badische Motorsport Club and the city of Hockenheim) are planning a major revamp of the circuit but the work is being stopped by environmentalists who are opposed to any of the trees around the track being chopped down, despite the fact that the planning includes three new trees for every one which is felled.
The current speculation is that the German GP tag will go to the Nurburgring (which has a deal until 2004) and the European GP will move to the vast new motorsport facility at Lausitz, between Dresden and Leipzig in the old East Germany. The aim is to have a 2.7 mile road course and a two mile oval and a secondary three-quarter mile oval. This has been financed in part and supported by the state government of Brandenburg.
The other European race which faces serious problems in the future is Imola because there is simply no space for the facilities to be improved as the space between the current paddock and the river is not sufficient. The only option would be to build across the river but this is likely to be met with considerable opposition from environmentalists as it would ruin what is otherwise a very pleasant little valley.