German Grand Prix
|Circuit length||5.148 km (3.199 mi)|
|Race length||308.863 km (191.919 mi)|
|Number of times held||73|
|Most wins (drivers)|| Rudolf Caracciola (6)|
|Most wins (constructors)||Ferrari (22)|
|Last race (2012):|
|Pole position|| Fernando Alonso
|Podium||1. Fernando Alonso
2. Jenson Button
3. Kimi Räikkönen
|Fastest lap|| Michael Schumacher
The German Grand Prix (Großer Preis von Deutschland) is an annual automobile race that has been held most years since 1926, with 73 races presently having been held. The race has had a remarkably stable history for one of the older Grands Prix, having been held at just three different venues throughout its life; the Nürburgring in Rhineland-Palatinate, Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg and on odd occasion AVUS near Berlin. The race continued to be known as the German Grand Prix, even through the era when the race was held in West Germany.
Because West Germany was banned from taking part in international events after World War II, the German Grand Prix only became part of the Formula One World Championship in 1951. It was designated the European Grand Prix four times between 1954 and 1974, when this title was an honorary designation given each year to one grand prix race in Europe. It has been organized by AvD (Automobile Club of Germany) since 1926. The well-known ADAC hosts many other races, one of which has been the second F1 race in Germany at the Nürburgring, held there since 1995.
In 1907, Germany staged the first of the Kaiserpreis races at the Taunus Circuit. Entries were limited to touring cars with engines of less than eight litres. Italy's Felice Nazzaro won the race in a Fiat. Like the Prinz-Heinrich-Fahrt, which was held from 1908 to 1911, it was a precursor to the German Grand Prix.
Pre-war (1926-1939) 
AVUS (1926) 
The first national event in German Grand Prix motor racing was held at the AVUS (Automobil Verkehrs und Übungs-Straße) race circuit in southwestern Berlin in 1926 as a sports car race. The first race at AVUS, in heavy rain, was won by Germany's native son, Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes-Benz. The event was marred by Adolf Rosenberger's crash into one of the marshals' huts, killing three people. The German Grand Prix became an official event in 1929, but would not return to AVUS again until 1959, and then only once.
Original Nürburgring (1927-1939) 
The Grand Prix moved to the new, 28.3 km (17.6 mi) Nürburgring, which was inaugurated on June 18, 1927, with the annual race, the ADAC Eifelrennen. This was a huge racing circuit that sped and twisted through forests of the Eifel Mountains, and had over 1000 feet (300 m) of elevation change and many spots where the cars visibly left the ground, such as the Flugplatz and the Brunnchen sections. There were two more races on the Gesamtstrecke combined course, which were both sportscar races, where pre-war great Rudolf Caracciola would win his second of 6 German Grands Prix.
The 1930 and 1933 races were cancelled due to economic reasons. In 1931, the event began to use only the 14.2 mile (22.8 km) Nordschleife, and this would continue onwards throughout the century. Caracciola would win the 1931 and 1932 events in a Mercedes and an Alfa Romeo respectively. Starting in 1934, there were often several races each year with the so-called "Silver Arrows" Grand Prix cars in Germany, e.g. the Eifelrennen, the AVUS race, and several hillclimbs. Yet it was only the Grand Prix at the Nürburgring that was the national Grande Epreuve, which counted toward the European Championship from 1935 to 1939. The 1935 event was considered to be one of the greatest motorsports victories of all time. Italian legend Tazio Nuvolari, driving a hopelessly outdated and underpowered Alfa Romeo against state-of-the-art Mercedes and Auto Unions drove a very hard race in appalling conditions, and after a dreadful start, he was able to pass a number of cars, particularly while some of the German cars pitted. But after a botched pit stop that cost him 6 minutes, he drove on the limit, made up that time and was 2nd by the start of the last lap- 35 seconds behind leader Manfred von Brauchitsch in a Mercedes. But von Brauchitsch had ruined his tyres by pushing very hard in the dreadful conditions- and Nuvolari was able to catch the German and take victory in front of the stunned German High Command and 350,000 spectators. The small 42-year old Italian ended up finishing in front of 8 running Silver Arrows- and 2nd placed Hans Stuck was 2 minutes behind Nuvolari.
The 1936 race was won by German Bernd Rosemeyer, driving an Auto Union, who also won the Eifelrennen event at the Nordschleife in spectacular style, earning the nickname "Fog Master"; and the 1937 race saw Carraciola win again in a Mercedes and Auto Union driver Ernst Von Delius die after a crash near the Antonius Bridge on the main straight. The 1938 race was won by Briton Richard Seaman (in a Mercedes), his only official Grand Prix victory. In the late 1930s a new track was built near Dresden, called the Deutschlandring, which was intended to host the 1940 German Grand Prix. However, because of the outbreak of World War II, the race was never run and the circuit never utilised for competition. Soon after Caracciola took his 6th German Grand Prix, World War II broke out, and the fabled German event did not return to international status until 1951.
Post-war (1950-present) 
Return to the Nürburgring and the Formula One World Championship (1951-1969) 
After Germany's loss of World War II, Germany was banned from international sporting events until 1951. A non-championship race was won by Alberto Ascari in 1950 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, but when the following year came around, the German Grand Prix was included as part of the new Formula One European championship, and the Nordschleife was to be the mainstay of Germany's premier motor racing event for the next quarter of a century. An average of 375,000 spectators each year came to watch the event, and it was very popular. The 1951 race was one where Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio led for 14 laps; but he had to refuel his Alfa and he only had 3rd and 4th gears left; and while in the pits, he was overtaken by Ascari in a Ferrari and went on to finish 2nd behind the Italian. Fangio won for the first time in 1954 in a Mercedes; the first time a factory Mercedes Grand Prix car had been competing in 15 years. He won in the new open-wheeled W196. This event also saw the death of Argentine driver Onofre Marimon in a Maserati during practice. The 1955 event was cancelled because of the Le Mans disaster; but Fangio won the next two events. The 1957 event saw a number of changes- it also included a Formula 2 race which was run concurrently alongside the Formula One cars. The track had been resurfaced and the concrete road surface (which was in very bad shape) which made up the pit straight, the Sudkurve and the straight behind the pits was taken out and replaced with tarmac. The 1957 event is, like Nuvolari's 1935 victory, one of the greatest motorsports victories of all time. Fangio led for the beginning of the race in front of two Ferraris driven by Britons Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. Fangio planned to refuel during mid-distance; and he did; although the pit stop was expected to take 30 seconds, it was a botched one and it took 1 minute and 18 seconds. Fangio was now nearly a minute behind Hawthorn and Collins; he began a charge where he made up several seconds on each lap, took huge chunks out of the lap record and broke it 9 times; on the 21st lap (the second-to-last lap) he passed Collins behind the pits, then Hawthorn late into the same lap. The 46-year old Argentine won the race (his 24th and final F1 victory) and his 5th and final championship. 1958 saw the distance shortened to 18 laps; Briton Tony Brooks won; but Collins crashed into a ditch next to the track, was thrown out of his car and hit a tree head first. He received severe head injuries and eventually died in a hospital near the circuit.
1959 saw the race go to the ultra-fast AVUS circuit in Berlin; but this was the only Formula One race that took place there, it was won by Brooks in a Ferrari. Frenchman and prominent Formula One driver Jean Behra was killed during a support sportscar race driving a Porsche. He lost control of his car, and the car went up and flew off the famous banking there, which had no safety wall or barrier of any kind. Behra was thrown 300 feet from his car and his head struck a flagpole; killing him instantly. Behra had been fired by Ferrari after an altercation in a restaurant with the Scuderia's manager shortly before his death. 1960 was a Formula 2 race held on the Sudschleife section of the Nürburgring, and for the rest of the 1960s decade saw 9 Formula One events take place at the Nordschleife. The 1961 event was won by Briton Stirling Moss driving a privately entered Lotus. Moss was able to hold off the 2 faster Ferraris of American Phil Hill and German Wolfgang Von Trips; and a clever decision of tire choice and skillful driving in wet weather conditions helped Moss to finish 16 seconds in front of Von Trips. The 1964 event saw Dutch gentleman driver Carel Godin de Beaufort die during practice after he went off at Bergwerk corner. His orange Porsche went through bushes, down an embankment and then hit a tree. He died from his injuries in a hospital near the circuit, and Briton John Surtees won for the second year in a row from Briton Jim Clark. In 1965 Clark won, which was his 7th Formula One victory of that season and won his 2nd driver's championship, driving a Lotus. 1966 saw changeable weather conditions and a battle between Australian Jack Brabham and Surtees; Brabham came out on top, and also Briton John Taylor was killed after he tangled with Belgian Jacky Ickx in a Formula 2 Matra. In 1967, a chicane was added before the pits; but the cars were lapping as fast as they had in 1965 (without the chicane); and the 1968 event was yet the scene of another great victory. This event took place in heavy rain and fog; and Briton Jackie Stewart won the race by more than 4 minutes from Graham Hill; he was 30 seconds ahead of the second placed Hill by the end of the first lap. Jacky Ickx won in 1969 driving a Brabham. After a long battle with Stewart; the Scot fell back with gearbox problems and Ickx, who had made a bad start, clawed back through the field and took the lead from Stewart on Lap 5, leaving the Belgian in a dominant position, and Stewart was able to hold on to 2nd place. German driver Gerhard Mitter was killed during practice driving a BMW Formula 2 car after his rear suspension failed and the car went straight on at the downhill section near the very fast Schwedenkreuz bend; this was the 5th Formula One-related fatality at the 14.2-mile German circuit in 15 years- which was by far the most out of all the circuits yet used for the championship.
Rebuilding and demise of the Nürburgring (1970-1976) 
1970, however, was to start the demise of the Nordschleife for international motor racing. After the death of Piers Courage at Zandvoort a few months previously, the Grand Prix Driver's Association had a meeting at a hotel in London, and (under considerable pressure from outside parties) they decided not to race at the dangerous German circuit. Speeds of Formula One cars had increased dramatically as had the technology; and it became clear that the Nürburgring- which was essentially a rough, unprotected road that went through forests situated on mountains- was too dangerous and outdated for Grand Prix racing. The 1970 event was hastily switched to the Hockenheimring, which had already been upgraded with safety features and was won by Austrian Jochen Rindt, resisting a charging Ickx in a Ferrari.
1971 saw the return of the rebuilt Nürburgring; and it was made smoother, straighter and was fitted with Armco barriers and run-off areas wherever possible. The first event saw Jackie Stewart win from his teammate François Cevert. The 1972 event saw Jacky Ickx dominate in his Ferrari, and Stewart crashed on the last lap after tangling with Clay Regazzoni, which began to see his championship chances fall by the wayside. The 1973 race was dominated by Tyrrell teammates Stewart and Cevert; and it was to be the 27th and last victory of Stewart's illustrious career. 1974 saw Clay Regazzoni win after Austrian Niki Lauda and South African Jody Scheckter tangled on the first lap; Lauda was out but Scheckter went on to finish second. Howden Ganley and Mike Hailwood both saw their careers ended by accidents during that weekend. 1975 saw Argentine Carlos Reutemann take victory while Lauda had a puncture after leading for 9 laps; the 1975 Grand Prix was the fastest race ever run on the old Nürburgring; Lauda became the first and only driver ever to lap the circuit in under 7 minutes.
Over the years, the Nürburgring was modified several times at the behest of the drivers; but the 1976 event was one that was to go down in history. Lauda, the reigning world champion, was dissatisfied with the safety arrangements of the mammoth circuit, and attempted to boycott the race. Formula One in the 1970s was the beginning towards a safer kind of motor racing; and the Nürburgring was considered to be something of an anachorism at that time. It was, by its very nature- almost impossible to be made safe. There were many problems with the circuit- there were parts of it that were nearly inaccessible and took too long for marshals to access, there were a number of places where run-off areas could not be built because of a lack of flat space, it was too narrow, too rough, and so on. However, the Nürburgring's organizers had a 3-year contract with Formula One starting with the 1974 race; the contract also included making the circuit safer over those years. Lauda was outvoted by other drivers because most of them felt that they should complete the contract so as to avoid any legal difficulties; the 1976 race was the last race on that contract. Also, as Formula One was becoming more commercialized, the extraordinary length of the circuit made it very difficult and too expensive for any broadcasting organization to effectively cover a race on the Nordschleife.
As the 1976 event started, parts of the circuit were wet and were even experiencing rain, and other parts were dry and had the sun shining brightly; another classic problem of the Nürburgring. After pitting to change from wet to dry tires at the end of the first lap, Lauda came out again, far behind the leader, West German Jochen Mass. And on that second lap, while pushing hard to make up time, Lauda crashed at the fast left hand kink before Bergwerk corner- one of the more inaccessible parts of the circuit. Going through the corner, the Ferrari's rear suspension failed, the Austrian could not control the car and it crashed into a grass embankment, and then burst into flames. His burning Ferrari was hit by American Brett Lunger; and Italian Arturo Merzario, West German Harald Ertl and Lunger pulled Lauda out of the burning wreckage instead of the ill-equipped track marshals, they could only arrive at the scene well after the impact. The resilient Austrian was standing and talking to other drivers right after the accident and his injuries were initially not expected to be serious; although he had been severely burned and had been breathing in toxic fumes, which damaged his circulatory system. He later lapsed into a coma and was nearly killed, but Lauda returned to racing only 6 weeks later in bad shape. The event was red-flagged and restarted; Briton James Hunt won this race, which turned out to be crucial for his championship chances that year. But Lauda's accident, the Ring's contract expiring and many other factors proved to be the final straw, and after 49 years of hosting the German Grand Prix the old Nürburgring never hosted a Grand Prix again; the event returned to Hockenheim.
Hockenheim and a brief return to the new Nürburgring (1977-2006) 
The fast, flat Hockenheim circuit near Heidelberg played sole host to the German Grand Prix for the next 30 years. The 1977 event was won by Lauda, and the 1979 event was one where Swiss Clay Regazzoni in his Williams attempted to chase down his teammate, Australian Alan Jones, but to no avail. The 1981 event saw a tremendous battle between Jones and rising star Alain Prost in a Renault, with Jones passing Prost in the stadium due to inference by Prost's teammate Rene Arnoux; but the race was won by Brazilian Nelson Piquet after Jones went into the pits with problems with his Williams. The 1982 race saw changes to the circuit; most notably a chicane to the ultra-fast Ost-Kurve; and it also saw the end of Frenchman Didier Pironi's career; after an appalling crash in the pouring rain, and during the race, Brazilian Nelson Piquet physically attacked Eliseo Salazar on live television after Salazar punted off the irate Brazilian, who was leading the race. The 1984 event saw Toleman rookie Ayrton Senna drive very hard at the front of the field during the beginning of the race; although he had a big crash early on; his performance, like so many others that year, did not go unnoticed.
1985 saw a one-off return to the new 2.8 mile (4.5 km) Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit, which had been completed and hosted the European Grand Prix the year before. It was a race where a number of drivers battled for the lead; it was won by Italian Michele Alboreto. The GP circuit replaced the abandoned Sudschleife; although the Nordschleife still exists (albeit with a few changes to make it safer and with no direct connection to the main pits); it no longer hosts international racing series, but is combined with the GP circuit for the 24 Hours race and still used by manufacturers from all over the world as a test and development circuit.
For the next 20 years, however, the German Grand Prix stayed at Hockenheim. The 1986 event was one where a number of the leaders ran on fumes at the very end; top 3 drivers Piquet, Senna and Prost were all running out of fuel and although Brazilians Piquet and Senna finished 1-2, Prost finished 6th after his car was completely drained of fuel; and 3rd place was taken by Briton Nigel Mansell. The 1989 race was one where Prost and Senna's famous rivalry was happening; and this race was one where the two McLaren teammates drove on their absolute limits and Prost's gearbox malfunctioned on the second to last lap and Senna passed him to take the victory; Senna won the next year's race as well from Italian Alessandro Nannini. The 1992 race saw further changes to the Ostkurve after a crash that Erik Comas had there in 1991; it was turned into a more complex chicane rather than simple left-right chicane with a tire wall in the middle. 1994 saw a further change to the third chicane to make it slower; this happened to many circuits in an attempt to make them safer after the Imola tragedies that year.
1995 saw German Michael Schumacher win, he was the first German to win his home race since Rudolf Caracciola in 1939. Formula One interest in Germany had peaked during the emergence of Schumacher. 1997 saw an exceptional win by Austrian Gerhard Berger. But the 2000 race was to play host to a number of problems. During the race, a disgruntled ex-Mercedes employee went onto the circuit during the race and disrupted the proceedings; and Jean Alesi had a huge accident at the third chicane and suffered dizziness for 3 days. And on the far side of the circuit (where the Ost-Kurve was) it was dry, but in the stadium section and the pits, it was pouring with rain. Rubens Barrichello won the race from 17th on the grid, which was his first Formula One victory. 2001 saw a huge accident at the start between Italian Luciano Burti in a Prost-Acer and Schumacher in a Ferrari; this race was won by Michael's brother Ralf in a BMW-powered Williams.
2002 saw the Hockenheimring dramatically shortened and the layout altered. The forest straights were removed and more corners were added to increase the technical challenge of the circuit. The circuit went from 4.2 to 2.7 miles long. Michael Schumacher won in that year and twice more.
Alternating between the Nürburgring and Hockenheim (2007-present) 
In 2006 it was announced that from 2007 until 2010, the German Grand Prix would be shared between the Nürburgring GP circuit (former home of the European and Luxembourg Grands Prix) and the Hockenheimring. The former would hold the races in 2007 and 2009 and the latter in 2008 and 2010. However, the name for the 2007 Grand Prix was later changed. While it was originally intended to be the German Grand Prix, owing to a dispute with Hockenheim over the naming rights of the race, the race was eventually held under the title "Großer Preis von Europa" (European Grand Prix). By 2009, the circuits appeared to have resolved their disputes as the Nurburgring race was held under the German Grand Prix title.
The 2010 GP, held in Hockenheim, at one stage appeared to be in jeopardy as the track owners, the city and the state of Baden-Württemberg, were not willing anymore to lose money due to the high licensing costs imposed by F1 management. In addition, talks with Bernie Ecclestone were hampered by his Hitler quotes. If the track had been relieved from being the venue, the owners were intending to returning the track back to its former layout.[clarification needed] However, on 30 September 2009, it was announced that the circuit had agreed a deal which would keep it on the calendar until 2018, under a new deal which saw the circuit management and FOA sharing the financial burden of hosting the event. This race saw Ferrari violate the "no team orders" rule, Brazilian Felipe Massa let his teammate, Spaniard Fernando Alonso (who was better placed in the championship) on to victory.
In total, seven German drivers have won the German Grand Prix; 5 before World War II and 2 when the event was part of the Formula One calendar. Grand Prix great Carraciola won the event 6 times; a record that stands to this day, and Bernd Rosenmeyer won in 1936. When the German Grand Prix was part of the Formula One calendar, a German driver did not win until 1995; Michael Schumacher won that year and has won 4 times in total; and his brother Ralf won in 2001.
Winners of the German Grand Prix 
Repeat winners (drivers) 
Embolded drivers are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship. A cream background indicates an event which was part of the pre-war European Championship.
|Number of wins||Driver||Achieved|
|6|| Rudolf Caracciola||1926, 1928, 1931, 1932, 1937, 1939|
|4||Michael Schumacher||1995, 2002, 2004, 2006|
|3||Alberto Ascari||1950, 1951, 1952|
|Juan Manuel Fangio||1954, 1956, 1957|
|Jackie Stewart||1968, 1971, 1973|
|Nelson Piquet||1981, 1986, 1987|
|Ayrton Senna||1988, 1989, 1990|
|Fernando Alonso||2005, 2010, 2012|
|2||Tony Brooks||1958, 1959|
|John Surtees||1963, 1964|
|Jacky Ickx||1969, 1972|
|Nigel Mansell||1991, 1992|
|Alain Prost||1984, 1993|
|Gerhard Berger||1994, 1997|
|Lewis Hamilton||2008, 2011|
Repeat winners (constructors) 
Embolded teams are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of a structured championship. A cream background indicates an event which was part of the pre-war European Championship.
|# of wins||Constructor||Years won|
|22||Ferrari||1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1964, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012|
|9||Williams||1979, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2003|
|8||Mercedes-Benz||1926, 1927, 1928, 1931, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1954|
|McLaren||1976, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2008, 2011|
|4||Brabham||1966, 1967, 1969, 1975|
|Lotus||1961, 1965, 1970, 1978|
|2||Alfa Romeo||1932, 1935|
|Auto Union||1934, 1936|
|/ Benetton||1995, 1997|
By year 
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.
A cream background indicates an event which was part of the pre-war European Championship.
- "Formula 1™ - The Official F1™ Website". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- four of Caracciola's six wins were achieved under this flag
- "F1 - 1973 Nürburgring Nordschleife - 1of2". YouTube. 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "2007 FIA Formula One championship circuit and lap information, published on February 14, 2007". Official FIA press release. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Nürburgring". Official Homepage of the Nürburgring. Retrieved 2007-04-14.
- TopNews (2009-09-30). "F1 at Hockenheim secured until 2018". topnews.in. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- Benetton had a British licence in 1995 but an Italian in 1997, the year of its last victory in Germany
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