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Hockenheimring

CIRCUIT PAGE
02/01/2018

CIRCUIT DIAGRAM

Click the image for a larger version of the circuit map

DETAILS

Hockenheimring

Hockenheim-Ring GmbH
D-68766 Hockenheim (Motodrom)
Germany
Germany

Tel: {+49) 6205 9500

Fax: (+49) 6205 9502

Official website:
www.hockenheimring.de/en

STATISTICS (PRIOR TO 2018)

Length:

4.574km (2.842miles)

Race laps:

67

2017 winner:

 

Configuration:

Clockwise

First GP:

1970

Lap record:

1:13.780 (Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren-Mercedes, 2004)

Type:

Permanent Circuit

Total races:

35

BIOGRAPHY

Until 1966 Hockenheim was a very fast 4.78-mile circuit in the rough shape of a kidney bean. It had opened in 1939, 15 miles from Heidleberg, and was used for German national car and motorcycle racing. In 1965/6 it was uprated to a design by John Hugenholz because one end was needed when an autobahn was built. The resulting 4.206-mile circuit remained blindingly quick for most of its length, with a slow section in the 'stadium' (ie grandstand) area.

Hockenheim achieved notoriety in 1968 when, at one of the first major races held at the circuit, Jim Clark was killed in a Formula Two race. While the exact cause of Clark's accident has never been established with 100% certainty, it is almost certain that he crashed as a result of tyre failure. His death was caused, however, by the fact that his car was not restrained from hitting a tree.

While the Nurburgring was being made safe, Hockenheim staged the 1970 German GP with a layout made slower by the construction of three chicanes. It was not a popular choice of venue but, following Lauda's accident at the Nurburgring in 1976, Hockenheim became the home of the German GP apart from 1985 when the new 'Nurburgring' had the race.

The Hockenheim circuit was radically updated – read, made TV friendly - ahead of the 2002 German GP, and in the opinion of many the legendary track has lost all its character.

The super-fast runs out into the country, and back again, have been lost. Although they looked impressive on TV, the thick forests meant that it was not feasible to build grandstands. Therefore, the track was effectively cut in half and a new section added, linking the (now) heavily shortened straights.

It goes without saying that Hermann Tilke was responsible for the 'new' Hockenheimring, just as it goes without saying that the new layout is not popular. That said, it looks OK on TV and the race promoters have been able to add more grandstands, which means more money.

The true, modern, face of F1.

Since 2007, organisers elected to alternate the German round of the world championship between the Nurburgring (organised by ADAC in odd-numbered years) and Hockenheim (organised by AvD in even-numbered years). Due to a disagreement over naming rights, 2008 saw the first German Grand Prix to take place since 2006; 2007’s Nurburgring race was called the European Grand Prix.

Ongoing deficits on the Grands Prix, amounting to up to 5.3 million euros per race that had to be covered by the local communities, made it likely the contract between the Hockenheimring and Formula One Management would not be extended after the Grand Prix of 2010. However, in October 2009 the contract for the circuit to hold the German GP was extended to 2018, with Formula One Administration agreeing to cover any losses the event incurred.

Consequently, the alternating pattern continued, with Hockenheim hosting the race in even years, and the Nurburgring hosting the race in odd years.

However, the agreement was put in doubt once again in 2015 when the official calendar for the 2015 Formula One season did not specify the host circuit for Germany.

According to the alternating agreement, it should have been held at the Nurburgring. However, under new ownership - Bernie Ecclestone having failed in his bid to buy the track - the Nurburgring was unable to host the event. Due to the lack of notice, and with an eye on the poor attendance in 2014, Hockenheim was unable to assist, consequently, Germany was missing from the world championship for the first time since 1960.

Whilst Hockenheim is scheduled to host the 2016 race, there remains serious concern for the future of the race in 2017 and beyond. Ironic, considering Germany's domination of the sport in recent years.

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