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A lap of the Nurburgring with Alexander Wurz 28 May 2004

Alex Wurz (AUT) McLaren Test Driver. Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2004. World © Moy/Sutton

The McLaren test driver guides you on a flying lap of the famed Nurburgring in Germany, host of the 2004 European Grand Prix.

For a map of the circuit layout, please click here.

“Powering along the start-finish straight at the Nurburgring you reach 181mph / 290km/h in sixth gear, before braking hard for the entrance to the Mercedes Arena, which is a tight right hand hairpin that sees you drop into 1st gear. This is immediately followed by a long 180-degree left hander and a 90-degree right hander, which swings you back round onto the straight.

“Powering up through the gears on the approach to the fast left, you brake from speeds of 165mph / 265km/h in fifth gear to 110mph / 177km/h in third gear to negotiate the sweeping bend. A short burst on the throttle takes you to the second gear Ford Kurve, this bumpy right hander is taken at 65mph / 104km/h. On the exit you accelerate downhill up to 185mph / 297km/h in sixth gear as you approach the hairpin, which is taken at 60mph / 96km/h in second.

“It is crucial to take a good line through the hairpin so that you can push hard and early on the throttle on the exit. Up the hill towards the Michelin Kurve you reach speeds of 175mph / 281km/h, lifting slightly for the left-right flick of the chicane, before braking hard for Michelin, dropping down to 85mph / 136km/h in third for the 90-degree left-hander. A similar right-hander, which is one of the most crucial corners on the circuit, follows and takes you onto the back straight.

“Taken flat-out, the fast, sweeping straight, with a slight right kink, sees you reach 190mph / 300km/h in seventh gear as you approach the chicane, the main overtaking opportunity at the circuit. This is another tough braking point as you drop from the highest speed at the Nurburgring to 60mph / 96km/h in second to negotiate the chicane where you have to drive aggressively over the curbs in order to carry the speed through the corner.

“Accelerating out, a short burst on the throttle sees you reach 140mph / 225km/h in fourth before dabbing the brakes for the final corner. Taken at 75mph / 120km/h and using the whole curb as you exit, the right-hander flicks you back onto the start-finish straight to begin another lap.”