The Green Hell
Home to the ‘second’ German Grand Prix for recent years (Hockenheim being the other), the new safer emasculated track did not warrant being called the NÃ¼rburgring, according to local fans. Opened in 1984, the 5.1km circuit saw a flagship inaugural event offering a veritable smorgasbord of F1 talent driving identical Mercedes 190E 2.3-16. The line-up was Jack Brabham, Phil Hill, Denny Hulme, James Hunt, Jacques Laffite, Niki Lauda, Carlos Reutemann, Keke Rosberg, Jody Scheckter, Manfred Schurti, Ayrton Senna and John Watson. Ayrton won, followed by Lauda and Reutemann.
In recent years, both the ‘Ring and the Hockenheim events have been losing money due to high and rising license fees charged by Bernie Ecclestone and low attendance due to high ticket prices. Starting with the 2007 Formula 1 season, Hockenheim and NÃ¼rburgring will alternate for hosting of the German GP.
By Phil Clark