Schumacher to drive F1 car on Nordschleife

2013 F1 season

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Michael Schumacher will get back behind the wheel of an F1 car on the Nurburgring Nordschleife next month, Mercedes has confirmed.

Schumacher will drive a 2011 W02 on the longer version of the track which held Germany’s round of the world championship between 1951 and 1976.

“Schumacher will post a demonstration lap on the Nurburgring’s legendary Nordschleife in a Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W02 to say ‘thank you’ to his fans for their years of loyal support during his F1 career,” said Mercedes in a statement.

The run will take place on Sunday 19th May ahead of the start of this year’s Nurburgring 24 Hours sportscar race.

Schumacher said: “I have a lot of fond memories of the Nurburgring and am really looking forward to giving fans and friends from my home town of Kerpen, which is quite close to the Nurburgring, something to remember as they see me drive by.”

“But it will be a fantastic experience for me too, driving along the Nordschleife in a state-of-the-art Formula 1 Silver Arrow, particularly in view of the fact that the Silver Arrow’s legend began here. Posting a lap in a modern Silver Arrow on the most beautiful and most testing circuit in the world, what a brilliant mix – it’s every motor racing driver’s dream!”

Recent F1 drivers and cars to have tackled the Nurburgring Nordschleife including the following:

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Image © Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

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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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49 comments on “Schumacher to drive F1 car on Nordschleife”

  1. Hope he pushes more than Heidfeld did in the BMW..

    1. Schumacher will post a demonstration lap

      Sounds like he won’t be pushing it at all. Which is a shame…

      1. I don’t know. His quote seems a bit more racy.

    2. It would be cool if he could officially break the 6 minute barrier.

  2. So… will he go for the lap record? I hope he does. Will they allow him to, though?

    1. I am pretty sure they won’t allow that.

      1. @bascb Another World Champion wants to see it happen, though.

        MarioAndretti: Wow, M Schumacher to tackle Nordschleife in ’11 Mercedes #F1 car. Will we see a 4min lap? Sounds like worth the trip to see. @MercedesAMGF1

        Perhaps this will put at least a bit of pressure on Mercedes to give Michael 1 crack at the record.

        1. Mercedes should give him a shot… and get Hamilton to do it if he cant get the job done :P

          1. He should just go for it. What are they gonna do, fire him? It’s his farewell lap!

        2. Let us hope he does @journeyer

  3. I’m going to the ‘ring about 1 week after this, cannot believe I will miss it!

    1. What you need is the International Date Line….7 of them..

  4. Even if they do not allow a proper run, it’ll be amazing to see current day F1 car on 1 of the legendary tracks. And we need in car footage of the whole run on Youtube with 1080p. That will be all.

  5. Does anyone know if Schumacher’s raced on the Nordschleife before? I don’t believe he did in his DTM and F3 days.

    1. David Livingstone
      25th April 2013, 11:54

      I’m almost positive he raced Sportscars there for Mercedes in 1990? With HHF and co?

      1. And never raced in DTM.

        1. Wikipedia said he did once, in 1990.

          1. before or after your visit?

          2. @Rambler

      2. Schumacher did four races in the DTM in 1991 (and entered one without starting it the year before).

        He raced at the Nurburging twice in sportscars but it was on the short circuit:

        Michael Schumacher: the Mercedes years

        1. Sorry Keith, my comment wasn’t correct one. At that time Klaus Ludwig and co have drawn much more attention in DTM. I checked the information and you’re right, Michael participated in four races. According to German Wikipedia DTM took place on Nordschleife from 1988 to 1993. Consequently, there is a possibility of Michael driving there.

      3. I think prototypes stopped using the Nordschleife in the mid 80’s when the new circuit was completed.

    2. @keithcollantine I did a bit of a hunt, and I found this, I suspect he has only raced the Nurburgring short circuit, but this gives you a list of all his races and results, including Formula 3 & Sportscars

      1. @dragoll This trumps FORIX and driverdb…

    3. @keithcollantine

      Schumacher did 4 official races in DTM. But they count as two heats per venue. Norisring (2) and Diepholz (2) in 1991.
      Hockenheim 1990 as guest starter (famously crashing out Cecotto and destroying his titel hopes).

      From 1984 on sportscars were only racing the GP-track. Bellof won the first race together with Derek Bell, after he set that remarkable 6.11 pole lap the year earlier.

      Formula König and Formula 3 never drove on the northern loop while Michael Schumacher was in his early days.

      So apart from his occasional Ferrari test drive…
      He never actually ‘raced’ on the northern loop. But he sure does know the track.

  6. “[…] driving along the Nordschleife in a state-of–the-art Formula 1 Silver Arrow, particularly in view of the fact that the Silver Arrow’s legend began here. Posting a lap in a modern Silver Arrow on the most beautiful and most testing circuit in the world, what a brilliant mix – it’s every motor racing driver’s dream!”

    Let’s go through this once again, shall we?

    This is an evolution of the original 2009 Brawn GP car, which in its development process was rebranded as a ‘Mercedes’, after the eponymous car manufacturer decided to buy the team that had somehow won the championship that year.

    This is the silver arrow. Not ‘a’ silver arrow, but ‘the’ silver arrow.

    1. “Silver arrow” is a term used for more than one car, and indeed for more than one manufacturer. It was coined by the media to describe the 1930s Mercedes and auto union grand prix cars that were dominating at the time, and has since been used to describe quite a few racing cars.

      1. I would say the last Mercedes car that I can kind of see is a silver arrow was the W196, but I mean… seriously, current generation F1 cars are still called ‘silver arrows’? I would much rather have that the W25 would be recognized as the ‘true’ silberpfeile, similar to ‘158’ and ‘Alfetta’ – I get the feeling Mercedes are just over-hyping the name ‘silver arrow’… and that annoys me.

        1. Oh dear @andae23. I will try my utmost to ensure Mercedes are aware of your displeasure.

          I’m absolutely certain they will not be in the least bit bothered.

          1. @psynrg that’s very nice, if you’re willing to do that :P

      2. I’m surprised that Audi don’t play up to the heritage for their le mans cars, as Auto Unions were silver arrows (and most Audi sportscars have been silver).

  7. He will probably have to pit after one lap to change tyres.

    1. Ha! He’d be better off in the F2002 or pretty much any of his Ferraris. Surely he owns at least a few of his cars from his first career.

  8. I’d love him to go for a timed lap but I’d be surprised if he does or is allowed to

  9. To judge by the picture he doesn’t color his hair any longer.

    1. Mikkel Sørensen (@)
      25th April 2013, 17:11

      The picture is from 2012.. Taken in Singapore. :)

      1. Abu Dhabi*

        1. Mikkel Sørensen (@)
          25th April 2013, 19:58

          Sorry – confused Yas Marina and Marina bay. xD

  10. Nurburgring is far too dangerous, it’s easy to go over the barriers with a modern F1. I think he won’t be allowed to do a lap under 7 min or something like that.

    1. The only setup that can ‘safely’ hold F1 on the this track is the one used in Monaco. With maximum ride height, of course. There are few jumps on the track and I’d like to see aerodynamic sensitive car, like modern F1, holding it together without loss of control. Quite challenging indeed.

  11. Mikkel Sørensen (@)
    25th April 2013, 17:13

    Call me Schumacher crazy, but it makes me happy knowing he will get to race on the Nordschleife.

  12. If the dangers aren’t too great, I do hope Schumacher is allowed to post a laptime – it’s safe enough for a Zonda R, so an F1 car shouldn’t be too bad I wouldn’t think!

    1. I don’t think so the track is too dangerous for an F1 car, the driver in a Zonda R is more protected than he is in an F1 car plus the fact that an F1 car will be much more faster around those dangerous corners I still cannot believe the lap record set by Stefan Bellof in 1983

      1. As far as I know, Bellof did the 6:11 on a shorter lap in may 1983. Due to constructions works the lap had been shortened to 20,8 km (instead of 22,8).

      2. @tifoso1989 of course the F1 cars will go a good deal faster, but if you change the suspension set-ups and bolt on a set of Bridgestones that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Also, F1 cars are pretty safe!

  13. I hope they let him take it off the leash.

  14. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    25th April 2013, 20:12

    Is the old part of the track with proper tarmac? If not, he won’t be allowed to try to break the lap record.

    1. Yes, you can drive on it with your road car. €26 per lap.

      So a correctly set up F1 car should be able to manage as well.

      1. The best thing you can do with €26 mate!

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