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Facts and figures - the German Grand Prix 26 Jul 2006

Nick Heidfeld (GER) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Race Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 24 July 2005 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 leads at the start of the race. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, 24 July 2005 Ralf Schumacher (GER) BMW Williams, left, congratulates brother Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari on his win.
German Grand Prix, Rd12, Hockenheim, Germany., 28 July 2002 The stadium section at Hockenheim.
German Grand Prix, Rd12, Hockenheim, Germany., 3 August 2003

It has been on the calendar for more than half a century, but did you know the following about the German round of the championship?

The German Grand Prix’s current home, Hockenheim, was built by Mercedes-Benz as a high-speed test track in the 1930s. The original track was almost eight kilometres long and featured two lengthy curved straights with two long corners at either end. It was designed to help Mercedes prepare for the pre-world championship era Tripoli Grand Prix, which took place on a very similar circuit.

Hockenheim is a small town in southern central Germany. For most of the year its population averages little over 20,000. However, on race weekends that figure soars to well over 100,000.

Four German drivers will be competing in their home Grand Prix at Hockenheim this weekend: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), Ralf Schumacher (Toyota), Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) and Nico Rosberg (Williams). It will be the biggest German contingent since Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s final home outing back in 2003.

The 2006 German Grand Prix will mark the 54th appearance of the race on the Formula One calendar.

This year’s German Grand Prix will mark Honda’s 300th Grand Prix - as either a works team or an engine supplier - since the Japanese company first entered Formula One racing back in 1964.

In the 1960s, the construction of an autobahn cut Hockenheim’s original oval in two. The circuit was redesigned by renowned Dutch engineer John Hugenholz and the updated track was reopened in 1966.

Hockenheim staged its first German Grand Prix in 1970, whilst the race’s normal Nurburgring home was being updated. Victory went to Lotus’s Jochen Rindt.

Hockenheim has hosted every German Grand Prix since 1977, with the exception of the 1985 event, when Ferrari’s Michele Alboreto took the final win of his Formula One career at the Nurburgring.

McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen has set the fastest lap around Hockenheim for the last two years running, with a time of 1m 13.780s in 2004 and 1m 14.873s in 2005.

In 2002 Hockenheim was radically altered for safety reasons. The sweeping tree-lined straights were removed and a tighter, shorter and more modern track was designed. The new layout increased the amount of seats available for spectators and significantly reduced the speed of the circuit.

The three most successful drivers around Hockenheim are Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Each has taken three German Grand Prix victories at the circuit, whilst Nigel Mansell, Gerhard Berger and Alain Prost have all won twice at the circuit.

Ferrari have won more German Grands Prix than any other team - 18 to be precise. But Williams have been the most successful at Hockenheim, collecting nine victories, nine pole positions and nine fastest laps from their 27 appearances.

In 1968 British legend Jim Clark was killed at Hockenheim in an accident during a Formula 2 race. A memorial commemorates the place were he died. Another famous Formula One name, Patrick Depailler, passed away at the circuit following a testing crash in 1980.

Michael Schumacher’s pole position for the 2004 German Grand Prix marked his 100th front-row qualifying position. He has taken pole for his home race on just one other occasion, in 2002.

When McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen won the 1998 German Grand Prix, he finished just 0.427 seconds ahead of his team mate David Coulthard - the closest finish in the history of the race.

Six drivers have completed the clean sweep of pole position, victory and fastest lap in a German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Alain Prost was the first in 1984, followed by Ayrton Senna (1989), Damon Hill (1996), Gerhard Berger (1997), Michael Schumacher (2002), and Juan Pablo Montoya (2003).

Apart from Hockenheim and the Nurburgring, just one other venue has staged the German Grand Prix. The 1959 race took place at Berlin's Avus circuit, which featured a simple layout comprising two long parallel straights connected by a hairpin at one end and a banked loop at the other. Tony Brooks took victory for Ferrari.

In addition to its 'home' event, Germany has also staged another 13 other world championship Formula One races - since 1984 there have been two Luxembourg Grands Prix and 11 European Grands Prix, all held at the Nurburgring.