German Grand Prix
|German Grand Prix|
|Circuit length km||4.57|
|Circuit length mi||2.84|
|Race length km||306.46|
|Race length mi||190.42|
|Pole driver||Kimi Räikkönen|
|Fastest lap driver||Kimi Räikkönen|
|Fastest lap team||McLaren-Mercedes|
The Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg is an automobile racing track situated near the town of Hockenheim in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Amongst other motor racing events, it holds the annual Formula One German Grand Prix. Situated in the Rhine valley, the circuit is completely flat, without any changes in elevation.
1930s - 1960s
Hockenheimring was originally built in 1932 using roads in the forest as an alternative to the Wildpark-Circuit in Karlsruhe, which became forbidden as a racing circuit by German officials. It was used for motorcycle racing and was expanded to be used as test track for Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union in 1936. In 1938 it was renamed the Kurpfalzring and that name was used until 1947. After the war, Grand Prix motorcycle racing events were held, with the German motorcycle Grand Prix alternating between Hockenheim and other tracks.
The original circuit was almost eight kilometres long and consisted of two long straights with a long "Eastern" corner in the forest and a U-turn inside Hockenheim joining them together.
1960s - 2000s
In 1965, when the new Autobahn A 6 separated the village from the main part of the track, a new version of Hockenheim circuit was built, with the "Motodrom" stadium section. After Jim Clark was killed in 1968 in a Formula 2 racing accident, two chicanes and an armco were added. In 1980, another chicane was added at the Ostkurve (east curve), after Patrick Depailler was killed there.
This version used to be quite large, with a very long, fast section going through forests essentially consisting of four straights of roughly 1.3 km, separated by a chicane sequence, followed by a more tight and twisty "stadium" section (so called because of all the grandstands situated there) named Motodrom. This made setting racing cars up difficult, as a choice had to be made - whether to run low downforce to optimise speed through the straights and compromise grip in the stadium section, or vice-versa.
In the early 2000s, F1 officials demanded the 6.8 km track be shortened and threatened to discontinue racing there, due to competition from other tracks such as the EuroSpeedway Lausitz and sites in Asia. The state government of Baden-Württemberg secured the financing of the redesign by Hermann Tilke for the 2002 German Grand Prix. The stadium section remained mostly intact, despite a new surface and a tighter Turn 1 ("Nordkurve"). However, the circuit was dramatically shortened, with the long, sweeping forest section chopped off in favour of more tight corners. There was a great deal of criticism of the track redesign, however, the tight hairpin following the very long back straight offers an overtaking possibility.
The tracks has a seating capacity of 120,000, due to new large grandstands sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.
The Hockenheim Circuit hosted the German Grand Prix for the first time in 1970 when the F1 drivers decided at the French Grand Prix to boycott the Nürburgring unless major changes were made. The next year the German Grand Prix went back to the Nürburgring until the 1976 German Grand Prix. From 1977 to 2006, the Hockenheimring hosted the German Grand Prix with the exception of 1985, when the race was held at the Nürburgring.
In July 2006, Bernie Ecclestone announced that from 2007 onwards, there would be only one Grand Prix per year in Germany. (Since 1995, there had been two Grands Prix every year in Germany; the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, plus either the European Grand Prix or the Luxembourg Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.) From 2007 onwards, the Nürburgring and Hockenheimring will alternate hosting the German Grand Prix, starting with the Nürburgring in 2007.
Only includes World Championship events
|Number of wins||Driver||Achieved|
|3||Juan Manuel Fangio||1957|
A light gray background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.
A med gray background indicates an event which was part of the pre-war European Championship.
Deaths from crashes
- Hockenheimring Circuit History and Statistics
- Circuit profile on Formula1.com
- Onboard video of one lap (QT, 10,4 MB)
- Ciro Pabón's Racetracks 3D views and virtual laps of all F1 circuits, including this one, via Google Earth
- Sattelite picture by Google Maps (As of April 2007, this still shows the pre-2002 circuit)
- Spectator testimonial of visiting the Hockenheimring
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