Formula One is a popular sport the world over. Eagerly watched at live events and on TV, F1 is a sport that continues to attract large crowds. Of course, the highlight of the Formula One calendar is the World Championship. Held at Formula One race tracks across the world, top-notch drivers compete for the opportunity to win the title of Formula One World Champion for that year.
Formula One race tracks, or F1 circuits, are specially designed for high-speed racing – and speed is exactly what Formula One Grand Prix is about. Corners have to be carefully set so as to prevent serious accidents, but remain challenging. Certain Grand Prix circuits have been set in the streets of towns such as Circuit de Monaco in Monte Carlo and Spa Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium. Over the years that the World Championship has been held, the F1 circuits hosting the event have sometimes been changed. Some have remained hosts to World Championship Grand Prix races, whilst others have been used for just a season or two.
Each Formula One track is uniquely designed with several turns, curves and straights. Amongst the more challenging are Suzuka in Japan and Nurburgring in Germany. Bahrain International Circuit in Manama of Bahrain is set amidst the sand which was sprayed with a special substance to prevent it from blowing onto the track. The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola is probably one of the best known in the world, along with France’s F1 circuit of Magny Cours. Other well-known Formula One racing circuits include Australia’s Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Silverstone Circuit in England, Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, Hockenheimring of Germany, Hungaroring in Budapest and Canada’s Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal.
Viewing Formula One racing on television is a popular pastime for many, but F1 is best experienced live at a track. If you live in a country with a nearby F1 Grand Prix circuit, you will be fortunate enough to get several opportunities to watch the thrill of F1. Many make travel arrangements to attend major races at F1 tracks around the world. Imagine yourself standing looking out onto the track, the drivers are pulling up in their stream-lined cars. The engines begin to rev as they prepare to speed off down the road-way. Eventually the tension bursts as the cars race forward. During the race you eagerly watch the top competitors until the final lap comes. Chills shudder down your spine as the team you have been rooting for comes in first place. The excitement, tension and joy of a day at the racetrack is truly not to be missed.
- Albert Park
- Bahrain International Circuit
- Circuit de Catalunya
- Circuit de Monaco
- Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
- Gilles Villeneuve Circuit
- Interlagos Speedway
- Istanbul Park
- Monza Speedway
- Mugello Speedway
- Sepang International Circuit
- Shanghai International Speedway
- Silverstone Speedway
- Spa Francorchamps
- Suzuka Speedway
The Hockenheimring, or Hockenheimring Baden-Wurttemberg, is located near the town of Hockenheim, situated in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. This circuit is the host to the Formula One German Grand Prix, and many other racing events.
The Hockenheimring was constructed in the Rhine Valley in 1932, and was built due to the closing of the Wildpark-Circuit that was located in Karlsruhe, by German Officials. In its early years, the Hockenheimring Circuit was used for motorcycle races, but in 1936 it became a test track for Auto Union and for Mercedes-Benz. The circuit was renamed to Kurpfalzring in 1938, but the name only lasted until the year 1947 before reverting to its original name. Grand Prix motorcycle racing was held here after the war, alternating between Hockenheim and other racing circuits.
Originally, Hockenheimring consisted of an eight kilometer track, that had two long straights, with a U-turn and an outstretched eastern corner running through the forest and joining the two straights together. The Autobahn A6 separated the main part of the track from the village in 1965, and it brought about the construction of the “Motodrom” stadium and a new Hockenheimring Circuit version. Crash barriers and two chicanes were added after Jim Clark had a fatal accident in a Formula 2 race in the year 1968. An additional chicane was added in 1980, to the Ostkurve, after another driver, Patrick Depailler, lost his life.
Formula One Officials requested that the Hockenheimring circuit be shortened in 2000, as the track was 6.8 kilometers, and gave the state government of Baden-Wurttemberg an ultimatum that either the circuit must be shortened, or they would move the event to another circuit. The state government received financing and commissioned Hermann Tilke to redesign the circuit before the 2002 German Grand Prix. The redesign had most of the stadium section remain the same, except for a much tighter corner in Turn 1 and new surfacing. The circuit was shortened to the extreme, which cut off the entire forest section and replaced it with more tight corners. The tight hairpin corner that was added to follow a long straight, has presented drivers with another opportunity for overtaking. A large stand that is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, gives the Hockenheimring Circuit a spectator capacity of 120,000. It also has a quarter-mile track that hosts drag racing, with the Nitro Olympics being the biggest event in Europe.
The German Grand Prix was hosted by the Hockenheimring Circuit for the first time in 1970, and from 1971 to 1976 the German Grand Prix was hosted by Nurburgring. During the years 1977 to 2006, the German Grand Prix moved back to the Hockenheimring Circuit, with the exception of 1985. It was decided that from 2007, starting with Nurburgring, the German Grand Prix will alternate between Nurburgring and the Hockenheimring Circuit.
The German Grand Prix or the GroBer Preis von Deutschland is an automobile race that takes place yearly. After World War II, Germany was restricted from participating in any international events. This meant that the German GP only became part of the Formula One World Championships in 1951. Before that the Automobile Club of Germany had been organizing similar events since 1926. The renowned ADAC hosts a lot of other races like the second Formula One race in Germany held in 1995 at Nurburgring.
Germany put together one of the first Kaiserpreis races in 1907 at the Taunus Circuit, where entries were limited to engines with less then eight litres. Italian Felice Nazzaro won the race in his Fiat. Like the Prinz-Heinrich-Fahrt held in 1908 to 1911, these races were predecessors to the German Grand Prix. The first national event in German Grand Prix motor racing took place at the AVUS racecourse as a sports car race in southwest Berlin. The event was officially recognized in 1929. Rudolf Caracciola won the race in heavy rain.
The Grand Prix moved to the new Nurburgring track, 28-kilometre track, when it was inaugurated on the 18th of June 1927. The German Grand Prix failed to take place in 1930 and 1933 because of the country’s failing economy, but started a year later in 1934. Although there were many races taking place throughout the country, it was only the Grand Prix at Nurburgring that was considered the national Grande Epreuve, which counted toward the European Championships.
Meanwhile a new track was being built at Dresden, called the Deutschlandring, and it was to be the host of the 1940 German Grand Prix, but this never happened because of World War II. Hockenheimring has become the German Grand Prix’s permanent location since 1977, except for 1985 when the race took place at the new 4.5km Nurburgring. With the success of Michael Schumacher on the international Formula One scene, the Nurburgring track became the venue for a second annual Formula One race in Germany. The first event, called the European Grand Prix, or as it is also known, the Luxembourg Grand Prix, took place in 1995.
Setting out plans for the future of F1 racing in Germany, in 2006 it was announced that the German Grand Prix would take place at Nurburgring in 2007 and 2009, with Hockenheimring hosting the event in 2008 and 2010. The 2010 German Grand Prix has been scheduled for 23-25 July, although there is an element of uncertainty as to whether it will take place, with high F1 licensing costs and problems in resolving issues with Bernie Ecclestone being cited as reasons for possible withdrawal as hosts. Despite the obstacles, the 2010 German Grand Prix was included in the F1 season schedule.