Rain expected to return at the Nurburgring

2011 German GP weather forecast

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Alexander Wurz, Williams, Nurburgring, 2007

The weather at the Nurburgring is famously unpredictable, prone to bursts of heavy rain at short notice.

F1 is making its biennial appearance at the Nurburgring, where four years ago we saw rain heavy enough to stop the race (but not before one-off race-starter Markus Winkelhock claimed the lead for Spyker).

HRT’s new driver Daniel Ricciardo already has experience of this from earlier this year: he finished second behind Robert Wickens in a thrilling wet/dry Formula Renault 3.5 race at the track last month.

The forecast for the weekend threatens similar bursts of rain to keep drivers and teams on their toes. Within the last hour the paddock was doused with another cloudburst.

Building up a firm prediction for the weekend ahead is tricky. Most forecasts agree there is a chances of showers on all three days – but when they might fall and for how long will be down to the typically capricious local weather system.

Further rain is forecast in the run-up to the start of practice tomorrow. After that, Saturday is expected to clear up slightly, with further rain arriving on Sunday.

Temperatures will fall throughout the weekend, beginning in the mid-teens and dropping. Drivers will also have increasingly strong winds to contend with.

These weather radar links give a picture of the rainfall in the area at present:

Location of the Nurburgring

The N???rburgirng is in Germany, just east of another F1 race location – Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, which has a similar reputation for an unpredictable local climate:

View F1 race locations 2011 in a larger map

2011 German Grand Prix

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    Image © Williams/LAT

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    26 comments on “Rain expected to return at the Nurburgring”

    1. Rain might make it exiting, but I sincerely hope not to have another SC start and endless laps run behind it before changing to intermediates again.

      1. I wouldn’t be against a 2007-style race. But the risk of interruptions makes me wonder if it is really worth having some good laps in the wet rather than a good race on the dry track.

    2. Rain’s now become a negative lol

      1. That’s how I feel. It’s pretty funny really.

        Please don’t rain! If you have to rain, then just enough for inters and no more!

      2. Same! Last year I practically prayed for it!

        I’m still okay with it really just as long as it isn’t heavy enough for the safety car… please, I don’t want to head to be at four in the morning…

        1. *head to bed.

          speaking of which, I probably should now. Before I misspell anything else.

      3. I know what you mean Dan, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for rain. Variable conditions never fail to make a race better!

        1. I like rain in quantities similar to what we saw in Spa and Brazil 2008 (I watched the last laps of both of those again tonight and nearly cried again! :P), and Melbourne and Spa last year. I don’t mind the occasional race where it rains heavily, but I don’t think we’re going to see F1 cars racing in heavy rain anymore. :( It’s a shame, because they managed just fine in Britain and Italy 2008, as well as China 2009.

        2. Agreed Ned! There’s always more attrition with rain as well, which gives backmarkers a better chance at improving.

    3. Can’t say I’m shocked. Dense, hilly forests always seem to create their own climates. Fingers crossed we might not see a certain Red Bull crosing the line first.

      On another point, I’d love to do a roadtrip to either Spa or the Nurburgring one year, but I wouldn’t trust my Megane to get that far without something falling off or exploding.

      1. On that subject, I’ve on;y just seen (through Keith’s large map link) how close Spa and the Nurburgring are! Seems crazy they’re not back-to-backs.

        1. Yeah, I didn’t realise how close they were either. I wonder if that’s the sortest distance between circuits on the calendar? Sepang and Singapore might be a contender too

        2. Wow! I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed that before.

        3. Seems crazy they’re not back-to-backs.

          Maybe by keeping them a month apart it increases the chances of people living in the general area being able to attend both races.

          I reckon if I lived somewhere between these tracks I’d be doing my best to get to both GP’s :-)

    4. ‘That’s what I’m talking about’ here and there on F1F for a couple of days now.

      But even I am astonished reading the ‘mid-teens’ figure. It would rather be like a fall event of the colder ones.

      Ferrari and Alonso – who I think, like in Canada, would carry on with their momentum at last in normal, hot sunny summer conditions – will not have a chance…

      Such a shame and bad luck.

      On a sidenote: Keith, I think this one might be a typo.

      Most forecasts agree there is a chances of showers

    5. I am hoping to see races in rain like Spa’98…that was amazing…
      But today races overprotected by safety car,because of that we couldnt see beauty of skillfull driver. And of coz Vettel is too coward and protected by safety cars like in Monaco and Canada….

      1. It barely needs pointing out, but Sebastian Vettel does not decide when the safety car is deployed.

        1. He inadvertantly helped make that decision. Trouble is, that’s because his crash into Mark Webber at Fuji 2007 made the FIA extremely cautious towards running F1 in anything more than moderate amounts of rain (Brazil seemingly excepted). Nobody in race control seems to have quite grasped that Fuji 2007 was like that because the track was flooded due to severe rain during most of the weekend, and therefore not a good reason to stop running on extreme wets in moderate rain.

          Nothing to do with cowardice and everything to do with (seemingly) race control picking one race and a few examples to determine overall wet-weather strategy. Consult by all means, but extreme wets should be useful for things besides following Safety Cars.

          1. Nothing to do with cowardice


    6. If we have heavy rain then things will be really bad for us viewers cause I believe that we’ll wait a lot for “Safety Car in this lap”.

      The really slow hairpin after the big straight has sent many cars to the gravel trap so it’ll be hard.

    7. Jos The Boss Verstappen
      21st July 2011, 19:32

      Looking at the weather charts it appears this weekend is going to be very wet at the nurburgring, saturday looks worst in my opinion but sunday appears to be very wet also.

      Couple that with unusually strong winds and very cool temperatures for the time of the year I think this race is going to be a lottery, just hope the safety car isn’t over used.

      I’m not saying it was wrong for the SC in Canada (conditions were clearly atrocious) but the number of laps spent under the SC was wrong. I recall the Canadian GP was started under a safety car for the first 6 laps and it would have been perfectly fine to bring it in after 1 lap. Later on after the downpour the safety car was deployed for so long Button said the track was almost ready for inters.

      When we get Malaysian style downpours I think it’s definitely justified to deploy the SC, but once puddles etc begin to clear it should come in sooner. I’m probably wrong but I think 10 laps of racing could have been gained from the Canadian GP.

    8. Scuderia Britalia Racing - Lucas "Mr. Veloce"
      21st July 2011, 20:51

      I would absolutley love to see a proper single-seater race at the 24-hour Nurburgring. Except without the cut from Turn One to Turn Four. Maybe a GP2 race next year as a non-championship round like the one being held at Abu Dhabi later this year.

    9. I would really have it rain on Saturday during the qualifying and little or no rain on Sunday.
      This way some drivers when in fear defending their grid position would not have to call in for SC on radio by saying “the rain is very bad”, or “this is the worse conditions I’ve raced in” and such…

    10. watch out with the weatheronline radar. the image it initially loads is incorrect. just click on ’90min loop’ or ‘3 hour loop’ at the right to refresh it.

    11. They’re now predicting heavy rain for 2pm local time today for qualifying, and light rain tomorrow at a rather cold 10/11 degrees!

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