BERLIN, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Operators of Germany’s Nuerburgring are in talks with Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone over a deal to host the 2013 grand prix despite cutting around 100 jobs at the circuit, a spokesman for the operators said on Wednesday.
Nuerburgring hosts the German Grand Prix every second year, alternating with Hockenheim. It last staged the race in 2011, with Hockenheim the venue for this year’s grand prix in July.
“Negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone have already started and are ongoing for the 2013 race,” said Nuerburgring Automotive GmbH (NAG) spokesman Karl-Heinz Steinkuehler.
“At the moment there is package that the operators look at positively. But it is also the state of Rhineland-Palatinate that needs to sign off as a partners for any deal,” he told Reuters.
Steinkuehler said more talks were expected within the first quarter of 2012, adding that the commercial future of the Nuerburgring track was secure despite the loss of some 92 jobs and ongoing negotiations over what NAG says are the excessive leasing costs of the facilities.
“The operators have no problem and the season starting in April this year is fully guaranteed,” said Steinkuehler. “The cutbacks are necessary to meet the leasing costs.”
He said 55 employees would be laid off with another 37 contracts not being renewed. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)