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Helmut Marko: 'Westschleife won't be ready for 2017'

Dr Helmut Marko plays down rumours that next year's Austrian Grand Prix could be held on a new layout at the Red Bull Ring.

Dr Helmut Marko has played down rumours that next year's Austrian Grand Prix could be held on a new layout at the Red Bull Ring.

Heading into last weekend's race at the picturesque Spielberg venue, reports emerged that team owner Dietrich Mateschitz was looking into reviving the old and audacious 'Westschleife' section.

Some reports suggested the renovations could be ready for the 2017 race, prompting world champion Lewis Hamilton to enthuse: "I think that's the best news I've heard in Formula 1 for a long time."

However, Marko - Mateschitz's right-hand man on F1 matters - played down these suggestions.

"No, certainly not," he told Laola1 when asked if the Westschleife can be ready for 2017. "In the time that would be simply impossible.

"I don't know where all that came from. Even the planning hasn't been completed."

Marko also admitted that track owner and promoter Red Bull was not happy with the low attendance at last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

"But that was due to the fact that in the last two years, only negative things have been said about Formula 1. That is now reversing and the races are much better," he said.

The 2016 championship continues with the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

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