The original Nurburgring, the Nordschleife, ran for an awe-inspiring 22.5 kilometres (14 miles). It was so long and so complicated that drivers simply could not remember a racing line. The Nurburgring was, in fact, two circuits: the Nordschleife and the Sudschleife. In total they had an amazing 172 corners.
It was safety which sealed the demise of the legendary track. Following Niki Lauda's terrifying accident there in 1976 in which he suffered horrendous burns, the Nurburgring's license to hold Formula One events was withdrawn.
The track underwent huge redevelopment to create a new circuit and in the spring of 1984 a race was held featuring 20 identical Mercedes 190Es and a grid composed of some of the best-ever Formula One drivers. Niki Lauda, Carlos Reutemann, Keke Rosberg, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, James Hunt, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, Phil Hill, John Surtees and Denny Hulme were just a few of the names to take part. Senna, then a relative youngster, won from Lauda and Reutemann.
The European Grand Prix was held at the new track later that year, and again in 1985, but it disappeared again after commercial difficulties. With the ascendancy of Michael Schumacher, from nearby Kerpen, the track was once again back in Formula One in 1995. Posing as the Luxembourg Grand Prix for 1997 and 1998, it then once more became the home of the European Grand Prix until 2006. From 2007 it has played host to the German Grand Prix every other year in an agreement which sees the race alternate between there and Hockenheim.
The track may not be as challenging as the old circuit, but it is still possible to take a trip down memory lane - literally. For just a few euros one can take a car onto the old track and soak up what was one of the most feared and yet respected circuits in the history of motorsport.