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26 - 28 Jul
Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Grosser Preis Von Deutschland 2019
First Grand Prix
Number of Laps
1:13.780 Kimi Räikkönen (2004)
Hockenheim dates all the way back to 1932, when it was created by Mercedes as a test track for their cars, in particular to fettle them for the Tripoli Grand Prix. The original track was an enormous 12km triangular affair – in fact it was called the ‘Dreieckskurs’, or 'Triangle Track' – that speared off to the outskirts of nearby Oftersheim before looping back via the current B291.
The Dreieckskurs was shortened in 1938, while following a further 1960s update from Dutchman John Hugenholtz – the man responsible for Suzuka – Formula 1 came to Hockenheim in 1970. That year’s world-champion-to-be, Jochen Rindt, won the race by just 0.7 seconds from main title rival Jacky Ickx.
Up until 2002, Hockenheim’s design saw the cars roar out into the forest before looping around the Ostkurve and steaming back into the stadium. In 2002, the track was truncated, with the cars now turning right shortly after Turn 1 and bisecting the original track. Hockenheim is still a fast track, though, with Sebastian Vettel recording a 231km/h average during his 2018 pole lap.
Hockenheim is one of motor racing’s most storied tracks. It was here that Jim Clark lost his life in a 1968 Formula 2 race, and it’s well worth the trek into the forest to find the modest memorial to the Scotsman. But Hockenheim also has an electric atmosphere, and when the cars bolt into the Motodrom stadium section, the feeling is full-on gladiatorial.
We’d advise you finding your way into Grandstand C, which peers down over the Sachskurve. Not only will you get to watch the cars coming into the stadium, but you’ll also be at one of the track’s best overtaking spots, as the drivers squabble to get into the cambered hairpin first.
ICYMI: Behind the scenes in Germany
Ross's German GP review: Max, magic and mayhem
The Winners and Losers of the German Grand Prix