Although Germany was not on the original 2020 F1 calendar, the coronavirus-induced revision to the schedule meant that the country which is undoubtedly one of the homes of Formula One returned to play host a race this year.
The legendary Nürburgring has become famous with its fearsome, daunting and scary Nordschleife layout, but its more ’friendly’ Grand Prix version is also a drivers’ favourite. The combination of technical, low-speed corners and the faster bends usually entertain drivers and engineers who need to find an effective compromise between the slow sections and the flowing segments of the 5 km track.
Long track – The Nürburgring has different layouts with the Grand Prix version used in F1 for long decades. This layout has a length of 5.148km. Drivers will complete 60 laps at today’s Eifel Grand Prix, covering a total of 308.617km. There is a difference of 263m between the start and finish line.
The German on home soil – The fastest race lap which is the official lap record belongs to the home hero, Michael Schumacher. The seven-time world champion set the fastest race lap with a 1m29.468 for Ferrari in 2004 which is still the official lap record.
The middle range – Formula One’s tyre manufacturer Pirelli have allocated tyres from the middle of the range this weekend with a C2 Hard tyre, C3 Medium tyre and C4 Soft tyre provided.
Two DRS zones – The narrow nature of the Grand Prix circuit of the Nürburgring usually makes it difficult for drivers to overtake, but the FIA has mandated two DRS zones again to support drivers in their pursue for higher places. The first has a detection point before Turn 10, and activation after Turn 11. The second has detection at the SC1 line and activation on the start-finish straight.
Long history - Today’s race will be the 19th FIA Formula One World Championship Grand Prix to be held on the Nürburgring’s Grand Prix circuit. In 1984, 1995-96 and 1999-2007, the circuit hosted the European Grand Prix. It hosted the German Grand Prix in 1985, 2009, 2011 and 2013, and the Luxembourg Grand Prix in 1997 and 1998.
The famous eight – Formula One has not visited the Nürburgring since 2013 when it hosted the German Grand Prix. On that occasion, Sebastian Vettel won with his Red Bull Renault car, beating the Lotus duo of Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean in a close fight. Apart from this trio, five other drivers have raced at the Nürburgring – Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo. However, the track is not unknown for the other either as all of them have raced here in some category. Max Verstappen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris have all won at the Nürburgring in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
Ferrari and Schumacher - Ferrari are the most successful team at the modern Nürburgring, winning six times, with Michele Alboreto (1985), Michael Schumacher (2000, 2001, 2004, 2006) and Rubens Barrichello (2002). Schumacher is the most successful driver with his four victories. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are also Nürburgring winners, having won the German GP here in 2011 for McLaren and in 2013 for Red Bull respectively.
A new record – Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen will be in the hunt for setting a new record in Formula One. The 2007 Ferrari F1 world champion is set to start his 323rd Grand Prix with which he will become the sport’s most experienced driver. The Finn equalled the record for most starts at the previous Russian Grand Prix that was held by Rubens Barrichello previously.