On Sunday, drivers will line up on the grid at the Nürburgring (the GP circuit and not the full Nordschleife) to take part in the sixteenth edition of the Formula One German Grand Prix. While every alternate year the race takes place at the nearby Hockenheimring, it is the race at the Nürburgring that holds the most clout.
The Nürburgring is one of the most iconic circuits in motorsport. Situated deep in the Eifel mountains, the modern grand prix track lies adjacent to the full Nordschleife that was a regular fixture on the F1 calendar between 1951 and 1976.
It famously proved too dangerous and so the GP circuit was built, just in time for the 1984 European Grand Prix. The circuit was updated in 2001 and remains quite technical, with lots of challenging corner sequences and camber changes. It stretches 3.2 miles and sees drivers reach speeds of up to 186 mph.
There can also be variable weather at the Nürburgring, which adds another element into the mix. The current forecast for Sunday’s race is clear and sunny skies, however.
The predominance of slow and medium-speed corners encourages the cars to run with maximum downforce and the smooth track surface means stickier rubber is a must. After the results of last weekend’s British Grand Prix, all eyes will be focused on the Pirelli's tires.
The Italian company has nominated its P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tires, which is the same used in 2011’s race. Of course the compounds are softer this year.
Going into the weekend, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel maintains the lead in the Drivers’ Championship with 132 points, followed by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso with 111 points and Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen with 98 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains the clear leader with 219 points versus the 171 points of Mercedes AMG and the 168 points of Ferrari.