Published on July 6th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
F1 2013_Your Guide To The Nurburgring in the Eifel mountains
Just 24 hours after the chaos at Silverstone, teams and drivers alike are running the ‘Ring’. The German Grand Prix has been a favourite for many thanks to the success of Michael Schumacher and now Sebastian Vettel. As part of an annual alternation process this year’s race returns to the famous Nurburgring in the Eifel mountains, though the modern layout is dwarfed by it’s much bigger brother the Nordschleife, the track is still one of the driver’s favourites on the calendar, here’s your guide to the GP-Strecke.
Built in 1982 the track was largely seen as silly compared to the Nordschleife, indeed some fans called it different names believing it didn’t deserve the title of Nurburgring, since then though it has grown and the driver’s and fans alike enjoy the undulations and challenging curves the track offers.
The Nurburgring had a slow birth on the F1 stage as it only held 2 F1 races in it’s first 12 years of existance, the 1984 European GP and the 1985 German GP. After the success and popularity of Michael Schumacher a 2nd race was introduced in Germany at the Nurburgring under the title of the European Grand Prix, in 1997-98 the race ran under the title of the Luxembourg Grand Prix before being returning to the European GP. The race continued to be held there until 2007, however after the success of Alonso, the European GP moved to Valencia in 2008.
The track has had a few changes over the years, but the biggest changes came in 2002 when the first chicane was dropped for a new 4 corner area that was built to make turn 1 a better overtaking place, the Veedol or MGK chicane towards the end of the lap was also redesigned by Michael Schumacher to increase overtaking.
Many memorable races have happened at the Nurburgring notably 1999 when in changing weather conditions Johnny Herbert took Stewart’s only win with Rubens Barrichello finishing 2nd. The 2005 race was equally memorable for Kimi Raikkonen’s last lap suspension failure after heavily flat-spotting a tyre during the race, and in 2007 the weather again caused chaos as an early downpour took several cars out of the race, the race was stopped and resumed after a short delay, then towards the end another rain shower was damping the circuit as Alonso closed on Massa and overtook the Ferrari with a few laps to go to win the race.
The key to a good lap around the Nurburgring starts with that new four corner section at the start. Any venture off-line during one corner affects the next one, so it’s not a case of being the fastest but the most accurate through the first few corners.
The next key corner is the Dunlop curve at the bottom of the hill, a curling straight can make it easy to lock a brake and run wide, though the corner is banked with the camber helping the driver round, a good exit is also key as the flat out Schumacher S leads into a possible passing place at Warsteiner.
The Bit Kurve completes a long chicane and another good exit is key as it leads onto the longest straight where DRS will be available, the straight leads into the Veedol chicane, a tricky chicane where carrying as much speed through the two apexes is important.
The final corner the Coca-Cola Kurve requires patience from the driver, keeping it tight to the inside good traction is needed onto the pit straight where DRS will again be available into the first turn
That is your guide to the Nurburgring and it should be another exciting Sunday.