German Grand Prix Preview

This weekend, the Santander German Grand Prix returns to Hockenheim, a circuit near Mannheim, which is held every even year and has been rebuilt to safety standards since 2002. [Photo by]

Without question, one of the most exciting races in formula one is the German Grand prix, which it began before the inauguration of the Formula One World Championship in 1950, at the famed Nurburgring circuit in the Eifel Mountains just west of Koblenz. The track was for many seasons one of the most dangerous circuits in the world, with 14 and a half miles per single lap. The entire race was only 14 laps because it was so long.

But within time, the track became too dangerous to drive because it was wide open and full of forest, with no barriers whatsoever to prevent accidents. It took the last race of the old circuit in 1976, which Niki Lauda nearly lost his life to disregard off the calendar. In its place, was the other German track built further down south of the Eifel’s near Mannheim, which was called Hockenheim. This track had an inside stadium, plus two major long straights with a 180 degree turn which made the driver go out to the forest and returned back to the stadium. This track went until 2002, when the promoters of the event wanted to scale back the track because of safety.

By this point, the Nurburgring was built, with a new track alongside the old venue and was completed in 1985, and with it, occasional appearances for the German Grand Prix. However, the last few years have been tough for this event. Promoters have not been able to find a single track that would have enough money to clearly host the event for its nation’s grand prix. Finally a few years back, both tracks decided to co-host the race to keep the event from going into financial ruin and on the odd years, the Nuburgring would take the event, while in the even years, it would go to Hockenheim.

This weekend becoming an even year, the race will go to Hockenheim, which probably has the best access being near one of the famous German autobahns. The access to get to the track is very convenient and now with the long straights in the forest both gone used entirely for parking, the track now has a straight which now goes from north to south, picking up turning right and returning back to the stadium.

It will be very interesting whether the Mercedes team will continue their domination. The squad should have no trouble in winning their ninth of ten grands prix and since it is a “second “ home race for series leader Nico Rosberg, it might even give him more of an incentive to increase his lead after a last poor race which now gives him four point lead in the championship.

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