The German Grand Prix is a classic race on the Formula 1 calendar, having been held every year of the World Championship except one since 1926. The Hockenheimring circuit has been the venue since 1970, providing fans with a superb layout for high speed action combined with technical sections. Unfortunately, the German Grand Prix disappeared from the Formula One calendar following the 2019 race. No new deal has since been made with Hockenheim circuit so its future remains in doubt.
History of the German Grand Prix
The German Grand Prix was an official event in 1929, and was preceded by a national race that would begin in 1926 and the Kaiserpreis of 1907, but was a year late to the Formula 1 championship, joining only in 1951 because Germany was not allowed to participate in international events after World War II.
The country did make up for it by regularly staging the German Grand Prix at Nürburgring and Hockenheimring, through the years, and even hosting the European Grand Prix at Nürburgring. That is, until 2007, when only the European Grand Prix was held, after which it was declared that Germany would only host one GP each year.
Before 2002 the Hockenheim was longer than it is today with roads cutting through the forests of the Rhine valley which were up to 8km in length. The circuit included four lengthy straights which allowed for some crazy driving. Chicanes had to be added on two occasions, when drivers Jim Clark and Patrick Depailler were killed in 1968 and 1980 respectively.
The circuit was deemed too dangerous and at the turn of the century, F1 officials demanded to have the track shortened. In spite of the trimming of some fast sections and the adding of more tight technical turns the Hockenheim has retained long straights and varied corners which challenge the F1 drivers.
Memorable F1 moments at Hockenheim include Prost and Senna’s clashes in the 1980s, Mansell’s incredible recovery in 1995, Schumacher’s wet weather masterclass in 2001, and Alonso’s dramatic pass on Schumacher in 2005.
At 4.574km, Hockenheimring strikes a perfect balance between fast sections and twisty technical parts. After snaking through the opening turns, the cars accelerate down to the hairpin at the Ostkurve. Exiting turn 6, speeds top 320kph down the long Forest Straight into the Hohekurve bend.
The technical stadium section follows, with cars braking hard for the hairpin and chicane complex. Next is the twisting Parabolika corner before accelerating down to the Sachskurve. This sweeping turn then leads onto the pit straight where F1 cars can reach over 330kph at race pace.
The lap ends with the tight hairpin called Spitzkehre which feeds the cars back towards the first turns. Hockenheim provides the ultimate examination for the perfect F1 car.
Winners of the German Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher has a record 6 wins at the German GP but many other greats have triumphed here. Recent winners include:
|Red Bull Racing
|Red Bull Racing
German Grand Prix Fan Guide
Use these travel tips to enjoy the full Hockenheimring race weekend experience:
Getting to Hockenheimring
Frankfurt Airport is the closest major airport around 60km south of the circuit. High-speed ICE trains take only 15 minutes to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. From there, regional trains go direct to Hockenheim station in 30 minutes.
The efficient Frankfurt public transport system makes navigating the city straightforward. Good areas to stay include Sachsenhausen for its museums and restaurants or central districts like Altstadt for their proximity. On race days, shuttle buses also operate direct from Frankfurt and Mannheim city centers to the circuit.
Fans who already live in Germany usually take their own cars to the site of the track and set up camp in the forest. Internationally-based fans can hire rental cars, take coach services into the nearby towns of Mannheim or Heidelberg, or trains that go to Heidelberg or Schwetzingen and stay at the small hotels there, taking a 30-minute taxi ride to the Hockenheimring on racing days.
Buying German Grand Prix Tickets
Main grandstand tickets sell out fast and guarantee views of the start/finish, pits or key corners like Sachs Kurve. General admission enables views from grass banks and hills around the track.
You should buy from the official F1 ticket office or authorized resellers only and beware of unofficial touts selling fraudulent or invalid tickets. The full weekend ticket to recommended as it allows you to enjoy support categories like Porsche Super Cup before the main event.