Jan.7 (GMM/Inautonews.com) The Nurburgring is not ruling out returning to the F1 calendar in 2017.

The circuit’s financial and ownership troubles were the reason for the absence from the calendar of a German grand prix last year.

Germany is returning to the calendar in 2016, thanks to the annually alternating contract with Hockenheim, but F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone admitted just before Christmas that he is not confident about the race’s future.

“I think we can say for sure that there will not be a race (in 2017),” he told the German-language website motorsport-magazin.com.

“Next year (2016) is fine, because we have a contract. Not a very good one, but there is one,” Ecclestone added.

However, motorsport-magazin.com now reports that the new owners and operators – a company called Capricorn – have turned an undisclosed profit for the Nurburgring.

Regarding the prospect of the grand prix being held at the track in 2017, Capricorn’s Carsten Schumacher said: “I can imagine nothing better than accommodating formula one, but the financial risk needs to be manageable.”

More generally, he sounds confident about the future of the Nurburgring.

“In an international comparison of race tracks we have a very high utilisation, and also for 2016,” said Schumacher.

“This is a strong sign for our partners, our clients and also for the region, the Eifel, which depends to a large extent on the events at the Nurburgring.”