FORMULA 1 GROSSER PREIS SANTANDER VON DEUTSCHLAND 2013
- 1.01 million (Cologne)
- First Grand Prix
- 1951 (German)
- GMT +1
- Christian 68%, Muslim 4%, other 28%
- Visa / Passport Requirements
The north Rhine region of Germany is recognised for its unspoilt beauty and nowhere is that description more justified than in the Eifel Mountains, the home of the Nurburgring. The countryside hasn’t changed for centuries, except for the building of the two tracks: the glorious Nordschliefe in 1925 and the shorter version, which is where the German Grand Prix is held, in 1982.
The cities of Cologne and Bonn are not far away from the track, with Cologne proving a big draw for tourists. It is the fourth largest city in Germany and is recognised for its cultural depth.
As for the ‘new’ Nurburgring, it may not have the 172-corners of the ‘old’ 22 kilometre Nordschliefe, which played host to the German Grand Prix until 1976, but the new 5.1 kilometre track is much safer and provides great racing, with at least three good overtaking opportunities on the lap.
Did you know? The historic Nurburg castle, which overlooks the track, was built in the 12th century and is open to the public throughout the year.
Cologne is the nearest major airport to the circuit, 60 kilometres away, but there are three other options available to the race goer. Dusseldorf and Frankfurt are within driving distance, as is Frankfurt Hahn.
Hire cars are inexpensive in Germany and are the only realistic means of transport for race fans because the Nurburgring isn’t close to any major towns or train stations. Most of the drivers catch helicopters to and from the track.
There is a lot of grandstand viewing at the Nurburgring, with three different price tiers, depending on where you sit on the lap. There are lots of perimeter paths around the circuit too, so it’s also possible to walk to a good viewing spot on just a general admission ticket.
The Eifel Mountains have a microclimate all of their own and even the teams, with their hi-tech forecasting equipment, have problems predicting the weather for the weekend. So come prepared for all conditions.
Where to go?
If you are seeking some urban stimulation, Cologne and Koblenz are your best bets. Cologne has an eclectic mix of bars and clubs, most notably in the Alstadt and Barbarossaplatz districts.
However, none of the drivers venture away from the track, choosing instead to eat in their motorhomes and head off back to the Dorint Hotel, overlooking the final corner.
Where to stay?
The aforementioned Dorint has 207 rooms, but is usually booked up months in advance. You could instead head into one of the local villages such as Herschbroich, Adenau or Nurburg to find a Bed & Breakfast or small hotel.
Camping is another good option - and the preferred choice of many Schumacher fans that attend the race.
In a country that produced Beethoven, Bach, Handel and Wagner, why not investigate the classical music scene? You could nip up the road to Bonn and visit the house where Ludwig von Beethoven was born in 1770.
At 1,320 kilometres, the Rhine is the longest river in Germany and it flows within 40 kilometres of the Nurburgring. If you join it at Bonn, you can see it meander through the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Believe it or not, the original Nordschliefe is open to the public on most days. It costs 15 euros per lap and with its challenging 172 corners - which even locals can spend a lifetime getting to know - it makes for a drive you will never forget, even in a one-litre hire car.
Plus, Cologne is home to Toyota's German motorsport base, including its wind tunnel which is used by Formula One teams. The facility sits adjacent to the company’s road car factory in Toyota Allee, and not far up the road is the Schumacher brothers’ kart centre in Sindorf, a suburb of Kerpen.
Otto Flimm Strasse
|Fri 05 July 2013|
|Practice 1||10:00 - 11:30|
|Practice 2||14:00 - 15:30|
|Sat 06 July 2013|
|Practice 3||11:00 - 12:00|
|Sun 07 July 2013|