Circuit Length: 5.148 Km
Lap Record: 1:29.468 = 207.144 km/h - M. Schumacher (Ferrari) 2004
The ‘Ring resounds in motor racing memories as one of the old cathedrals of the sport, a daunting challenge to drivers, many of whom died in competition, and a fabled place of heroic deeds, but the track on which the modern Formula 1 teams will compete this weekend is something quite different to that remembered as the Nurburgring-Nordschleife. Indeed, the new Nurburgring, built to replace the old track following its final hosting of the German race in 1976, when Niki Lauda’s life was saved by fellow-drivers who dragged him from his blazing and wrecked Ferrari, was not opened until 1984 and signalled a new era of safety standards and a new age. In modern times, it hosts the German Grand Prix every other year, sharing the privilege with Hockenheim. Most oddly, the Nurburgring has hosted Grands Prix under three different names: in 1984, 1995-96, 1999-2007 it hosted the Grand Prix of Europe; in 1985, 2009 and 2011 the German Grand Prix and in 1997-98 the Grand Prix of Luxembourg.
Very odd note:
Briton Johnny Herbert’s final F1 victory came at the Nürburgring in 1999. It was also the first and only win for Stewart Grand Prix. After being sold to Jaguar, and then Red Bull Racing, the’ same’ team won at the circuit again in 2009….And that victory was Mark Webber’s first in F1.
Set in the Eifel mountains, surrounded by forests and fields, the circuit is a pale imitation of its predecessor and demands a compromise in set-up, but offers drivers a satisfying opportunity to enjoy a smooth flow of mixed-speed corners with short straights and chicanes. “The Nurburgring is a track that seems to encourage close racing and plenty of overtaking,” says the 2009 world champion Jenson Button. “The combination of low- and medium-speed corners tend to allow cars to run quite closely, and there are a couple of big braking zones, where it's quite easy to get alongside and steal the inside line. However, it's got some nicely designed sections, which mean - equally – that you can lose out on the entry and yet retake position if you have better traction and track position on the exit."
Q: In which year did Sebastian Vettel dominate and win the German Grand Prix, lapping the entire field to demonstrate his outright supremacy? Answer below.
Somewhat unexpectedly, Ferrari are the team with the most impressive overall German Grand Prix record with a mighty 21 victories, well ahead of nine wins for Williams and eight for McLaren. Surprisingly, Ferrari’s longest winning sequence was three consecutive races between 1951 and 1953: two for Alberto Ascari followed by a final F1 victory for Nino Farina. In modern times, Michael Schumacher, with four, has the most German Grand Prix wins of any driver in the F1 World Championship era. Schumacher’s victory in 1995 was the first for a German national at his home grand prix since Rudolf Caracciola’s final win. Caracciola won the German Grand Prix six times between 1926 and 1939 – five of Caracciola’s wins came on the Nordschleife and the other at Avus.
Nico Rosberg is the driver with momentum as he goes in search of his third ‘home’ win this season, having triumphed at the Monaco and British Grands Prix for Mercedes. Monaco is his home race, as he grew up and lives there, while Silverstone is the circuit nearest to the Mercedes team’s base, just 15 kilometres away, at Brackley. Though Rosberg is the son of the original flying Finn, 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, Germany is his motherland (yes, his mum is German) and home also to the team owners Mercedes. In addition to his two wins, Rosberg has claimed pole three times this year.
Despite sitting on top of the drivers’ championship, defending triple world champion Sebastian Vettel failed to score a point at Silverstone, for the first time in 15 races, thanks to a gearbox problem. This setback reduced his lead to 21 points ahead of Fernando Alonso of Ferrari. And Vettel has never won on home soil in the German Grand Prix. His best so far is a single second place finish in 2009. Yes, it was a trick question!
2012 Results (race held at Hockenheim)
Pole Position: Fernando Alonso (Scuderia Ferrari); 1:40.621 = 163.647 km/h
1st: Fernando Alonso (Scuderia Ferrari) 1:31.05.862
2nd: Jenson Button (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes)
3rd: Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus F1 Team)
Fastest Lap: Michael Schumacher (Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team); 1:18.725 = 209.163 km/h on Lap 57
Webber / Ricciardo Watch
Mark has raced twice and enjoyed one win and one third place at this event at the Nurburgring in 2009 and 2011 respectively. So, with better fortune than that which he enjoyed at Silverstone where he recovered from an early collision with Romain Grosjean’s Lotus to finish a storming second, he should at least complete his set of podiums. Having announced he will leave Formula One for sportscar racing at the end of the year, he will drive with the same freedom that saw him almost win last Sunday – and could secure his 10th career victory. Note, too, that Mark has been on pole both times previously and will be seeking another pole to complete a hat-trick. Daniel was in fine form also at Silverstone where he qualified fifth and finished eighth for Toro Rosso, clearly staking a claim to succeed his fellow-Aussie at Red Bull next year. In his one previous race at the ‘Ring, he finished 19th after qualifying 23rd. He is almost certain to do a lot better this time.