After a year’s absence, Formula 1 returns to Germany, home to one of the sport’s grandest and oldest events.
There have been 61 German Grands Prix, more than any race except Great Britain (68, Italy (68) and Monaco (64). It first appeared on the world championship calendar in 1951, and is considered one of the sport’s great ‘heritage races’, alongside the above three and the Belgian Grand Prix, at Spa-Francorchamps.
It’s a race that’s been dominated by the greats of the sport, including Fangio. Clark, Stewart, Lauda, Hunt, Senna, Hakkinen, Schumacher and Hamilton. In fact, of its 40 different winners, 25 have all been (or went on to be) Formula 1 world champion.
F1 returns to Hockenheim, the race’s regular home since the late-’70s, but the race will also be overshadowed by its presence at the ‘daddy’ of all racetracks, the original 14-mile-long Nurburgring ‘Nordschleife’, the most fearsome and intimidating circuit ever constructed.
The Nordschleife is still regarded as the greatest circuit in the world, but was abandoned as a grand prix venue after Niki Lauda’s fiery crash in 1976. The race has since been held on the track’s baby brother, a 5km circuit that sits in the shadow of the famous Nurburgring castle. The race also had a sole outing at Avus, in Berlin, in 1959.
In terms of iconic moments, look no further than Fangio’s victory in 1957, when he regained the lead after a botched pitstop and a string of lap records.Other legends include Jackie Stewart’s mesmerising wet-weather victory in 1968 (he won by a staggering four minutes), Niki Lauda’s fiery shunt in ’76, and Ferrari’s infamous team orders debate in 2010.