German Grand PrixView

By on Tuesday, July 2, 2013

2011 German Grand Prix - ThursdayAfter the tyre debacle at the British Grand Prix, Formula 1 heads swiftly to the Nurburgring for this season’s German Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel heads to his home race with a reduced championship lead courtesy of his failure to finish at Silverstone. Vettel has never won his home race but has finished in the top four on both of his visits to the Nurburgring. The last time Formula 1 visited the Nurburgring was in 2011, when Lewis Hamilton beat Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber in a thrilling race. Last year’s German Grand Prix was won by Alonso at Hockenheim.

Pirelli will undertake changes for this race following the tyre blow-outs at Silverstone. Development tyres trialled at the Canadian Grand Prix will be used, as will a new Kevlar belt.


The German Grand Prix was held at the fearsome Nordschleife for several years, where cars would weave their way through the narrow circuit in the Eifel Mountains. The circuit played host to several thrilling races, including a dominant performance in 1968 by Sir Jackie Stewart, who won a race affected by heavy rain and fog by over four minutes. Tragedy and triumph were frequently interwoven at the circuit and the Nordschleife hosted its final Formula 1 race in 1976 when Niki Lauda was nearly killed in a ferocious accident. For the next few decades the race was held at Hockenheim – except for in 1985 – and the circuit was infamous for its long straights between the forest. The circuit was truncated in 2002 and financial problems forced both German circuits to alternate each other from the 2007 season onwards.

The circuit

NurburgringThe start/finish line was moved forwards for the 2011 event meaning that there is now a shorter run down to the first corner. The slight kink before Turn 1 has caught drivers out in the past, most notably in 2007 when heavy rain turned the corner into a river. The high risk of contact continues around the Mercedes arena, an area of track introduced for 2002, before the drivers switch back and head towards the Valvoline-Kurve, a tricky narrow left hander. The drivers then blast down towards the Dunlop-Kehre hairpin before climbing up through the Schumacher S. The difficult Michelin-Kurve has caught drivers out before – notably Vettel in 2011 – and getting a run through Bit-Kurve is crucial for the long back straight, which will act as one of the DRS zones for Sunday’s race, along with the main straight. Under braking for the Veedol-Schikane represents one of the best overtaking opportunities of the lap but the narrow nature of the chicane means that it will be a case of last of the very late, brave brakers. Drivers then hug the barrier on the inside of the Coca-Cola corner for the optimum line back over the start line.

The Nurburgring is a track that seems to encourage close racing and plenty of overtaking,” says McLaren’s 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 still regain position if you have better traction and track position on the exit.”


NurburgringThe German Grand Prix has been held in all but two seasons. In 1955, the race was cancelled following the tragic accident at Le Mans while in 2007 the race was held under the ‘European Grand Prix’ moniker due to legal reasons.

Ferrari is comfortably the most successful team in Germany. The Italian team has won the event 22 times, with Williams registering nine victories and Mercedes and McLaren tied on eight.

The Audi S was renamed the Schumacher S ahead of the race in 2007. Michael Schumacher’s return in 2010 meant that he raced around the corner in 2011, becoming only the second driver – after Ayrton Senna – to compete on a corner named after them.

Kimi Raikkonen has a woeful record at the circuit. The Finn has retired on five of his last six visits to the track, despite claiming a few pole positions. He lost victory when his tyre failed on the final lap in 2005.

Mark Webber claimed his maiden pole position at the circuit in 2009 and followed it up with his first ever victory in the race. will cover the German GP this weekend. Keep an eye on our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates from the paddock

Timetable: (GMT+2)

Friday 5th July

  • FP1 - 10:00
  • FP2 - 13:00

Saturday 6th July

  • FP3 - 11:00
  • Qualifying - 14:00

Sunday 7th July

  • Race - 14:00

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