Saturday December 18th, 1999
The Hockenheim circuit, at which the German Grand Prix is staged is set to be shortened by 2.8km to 4.023km according to plans announced by its owners.
The president of Hockenheim shareholders and local mayor Gustav Schrank said at a press conference on Thursday that the changes would cost $25.4 million. He is counting on financial support from the regional government and hopes for planning permission in spring 2000.
It is believed comments from Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone that suggested the circuit was too long and did not provide good racing may have sparked the changes.
The four long straights that run through the forest will be reduced to just two 700m straights, as well as the fast pit straight. However, spectator capacity will increase from 75,000 to 100,000.
Possibly as a result of these proposed changes, Bernie Ecclestone is reported to have verbally agreed to have extended Hockenheim's deal to stage the German Grand Prix until 2008.