Hockenheim to replace Nurburgring on calendar

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says the Hockenheimring will replace the Nurburgring on the 2015 F1 calendar.


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Hockenheim to host German GP: Ecclestone (Reuters)

"It's going to be at Hockenheim, we're in the middle of doing something with them. It can't be Nerburgring because there's nobody there."

Wider tyres tipped to reinvigorate F1 (Autosport)

"F1's current tyres are 245mm wide at the front and 325mm wide at the rear. Hembery believes that a good target to aim for would be an increase that makes the rears wider than 400mm."

Irish Independent (source)

"The court said the word Monaco 'corresponds to the name of a globally known principality, not least due to the renown of its royal family, its organisation of a Formula One Grand Prix and its organisation of a circus festival'."

Mika on new season emotions (McLaren)

"I had that feeling in February 1998, when I tested our brand-new McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 properly for the first time, at Barcelona. It was a three-day test, and eventually I worked my lap-time down to a best of 1m21.880s. The previous week, Williams’ Heinz-Harald Frentzen had been quickest with a lap of 1m23.400s – a massive 1.5s slower than I would drive on the same circuit a few days later. Believe me, that felt good."

Far Ahead of Curve, a 6-Year-Old Thrills a Nation (New York Times)

"Starting so young will give Rashid a tiny, tiny edge up on people who start later. But in a sport where hundredths of a second are the difference, that can be enough."



Sebastian Vettel introduced himself to Ferrari staff at their factory in Maranello yesterday.

Comment of the day

Vettel’s move to Ferrari is one of the most intriguing developments for 2015:

I’m glad Vettel has taken the challenge. He is young, already a multiple time world champion, and has assured himself recognition for many generations.

In my opinion he is the only driver that can afford to go to a struggling team. Drivers like Hamilton and Alonso deserve more world championships than they have gotten, and they’re not getting any younger.

Plus, who doesn’t like seeing world champions race for new teams?
Neusalz (@Dpod)

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On this day in F1

A searingly hot Argentinian Grand Prix was won on this day 60 years ago by Juan Manuel Fangio in a Mercedes. The next two cars home were each shared by three different drivers who struggled in the oppressive heat.

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51 comments on “Hockenheim to replace Nurburgring on calendar”

  1. “It’s going to be at Hockenheim, we’re in the middle of doing something with them. It can’t be Nerburgring because there’s nobody there.”
    Well, at least we had an excellent race at Hockenheim last year. But I thought that Hockenheim was the deserted place…. Nurburgring was quite crowded in 2013.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      16th January 2015, 0:22

      I think the Nurburgring is a better track, but. Hockenheim makes for better racing.

      1. I found both tracks to be exciting, but I’d rank the Nurburgring a little higher. That race a few seasons back in which Vettel spun out was particularly thrilling race.

        1. @dpod Yeah that was the 2011 race. A nice race too.
          Also looking at yesterday’s round-up, we can see that the Nurburgring is far from receiving nobody: https://www.racefans.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/start-nurb-2013-3.jpg

        2. It was bloody cold though :(

      2. I agree, the Nurburgring for me is both a more fun track to drive (in sims obviously, would love to drive it in real life though) and also produces better racing in my view. I can’t pull any numbers out of a hat to back this up because I can’t remember any, but my general view of the German GP is “Yay it’s Nurburgring year” or “Damn it’s Hockenheimring year”…

    2. Bernie may have meant that “there’s nobody there” at the Nurburgring able to write him the big check.

      1. Bernie definitely meant there was no on there to write the check…

      2. And he is probably right as the Nürbugring is currently at sell (again). So probably nobody feels responsible to even write a small check or sign a contract until the Nurbürgring has a real owner again.

        1. Is it on sale right now? It was sold off in early 2014 to a company called Capricorn (in a deal that many felt at the time was likely to fail). However, in late 2014 there were reports suggesting they’d sold a controlling stake in the circuit to a Russian called Viktor Kharitonin.

          To be honest, the Nurburgring has been a financial disaster for several years now – the company that owned the circuit back in the mid 2000’s spent hundreds of millions on completely unrealistic developments around the circuit (their debts when they declared bankruptcy were in excess of $500 million) based on hopelessly optimistic expectations of demand from automotive developers and tourists.
          Even though it may just be to put pressure on them, Bernie does have something of a point about there being “nobody home”, in as much as the ownership of the circuit has changed hands several times in the past couple of years and it is not entirely clear who actually owns what.

  2. Both are very good tracks. I wish the Nürburgring could be the European GP again like it was 10 years ago. That way we’d have them both in the calendar again.

    1. European GP will be in Baku.

  3. Thanks @keithcollantine! My first COTD :)

  4. Richard Hornby
    16th January 2015, 0:53

    I’ve never seen that 1955 race video before, but it’s really good! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. I never realized Ben Edwards was around to commentate in 1955 ;-)

  5. http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/320904/hockenheim-says-nothing-fixed-for-2015/

    As much as I love F1, I’d like to see Hockenheim tell Bernie to put his contracts where the sun don’t shine, just to see him in a self-made mess in which he deserves to drown.

    1. I’m with you on that, although I’m afraid that if Hockenheim can’t organise the GP for this year we’ll simply be left with one race less…

      1. Or he’ll start touting the space to the nearest dictator-run car park

  6. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    16th January 2015, 0:59

    I wonder how much of F1 skipping Nürburgring is down to sour grapes on Bernie’s part for not being able to buy it? I am willing to be A GREAT AMOUNT…

    1. lol. I posted pretty much the same thing on another website. And, apparently Hockenheim’s owners are unaware that they’ve done a deal to host this year’s GP! Ecclestone is just The Worst.

  7. Something I find a bit odd about the wider tyre story is that they seem to be talking about wider tyres & more downforce?

    If they were reducing downforce & introducing wider tyres to get more mechanical grip to compensate for the downforce reduction I’d get it as I can see that improving the racing.
    But surely more downforce + wider tyres/more mechanical grip will make cars even harder to follow due to the increased downforce levels with the increase in overall grip shortening braking distances further & also increasing cornering speeds which would probably have the opposite effect & make the racing worse or is my sleep deprived brain simply not working properly?

    I’d rather the focus be put on the racing & not this ‘wow factor’ that seems to be the current thing which Bernie & co seem desperate to create. If you have wide tyres, 1000bhp, loud engines, Tons of downforce, Tons of speed/performance, lots of sparks etc… yet the racing is crap then all that added ‘wow factor’ is meaningless.

    Look at 2004 as an example, The cars had tons of downforce, were the fastest they have ever been in terms of overall performance (Most lap records were set in 2004), The engine’s were probably not far off 1000bhp & were very loud yet most people felt the racing was dull.

    For all the whining & complaining about the new V6 turbo’s, The quieter sounds & the finger noses a year ago I thought the actual racing in 2014 was great, Some of the best for a few seasons & even though Mercedes dominated they at least provided us with a genuinely interesting & exciting title fight which went down to the final race.

    I’d much rather more seasons like 2014 even with ‘quiet’ engine’s & ‘ugly’ noses than seasons with tons of ‘spectacle’ & ‘wow factor’ where the racing is garbage.

    1. COTD. You hit the nail on the head with this. Even as a Die hard Ferrari and Schumacher fan, the racing in 2014 was far better than 2004 and I really think it will get better this year

    2. +1.

      F1 is not supposed to be stuck technologically but we gotta turn down the rhythm of changes.

    3. Well said, I completely agree

    4. people keep talking about 2004 as a dull season but i think that’s partly down to the championship battle and how it was neutered by ferrari having a clear 1 and 2 driver – also, probably rubens was not going to be that close to schumacher anyway.

      2014 could well have been a bit dull too if mercedes had not allowed the title to pan out naturally (i.e without team orders).

      as for the racing in the rest of the field, i’m sure there were good moments in 2004 just as there were in 2014. i remeber monaco, indy, spa being pretty good races.

      basically, my point is that ‘excitement’ (however you define it) is governed more by circumstance and context than anything else. there are too many variables to make a sensible comparison to potential-2015 onwards racing and 2004.

    5. There are no quotes in the article from Pirelli saying the aim of wider tyres is to increase grip; the aim is to change the look of the cars which I don’t have a problem with if they ultimately look better.

      There is an incorrect statement in the article from Autosport saying wider tyres “would help improve grip through corners”.

      Wider tyres = longer tyre life if everything else remains the same.

      I imagine they would reduce the thickness of the tyre to keep the longevity similar to the current tyres.

      1. The main aim may not be to increase grip but a consequence of the wider tyres will more grip due to a larger contact patch.

        Lets not forget that the front tyres were made narrower in 2010 to reduce front grip as it was felt the grip balance front to rear was wrong after the change back to slicks in 2009.
        The grooved tyres were introduced to reduce the contact patch in order to reduce grip.
        For the start of 1993 the tyre width was reduced to reduce grip & cornering speeds.

        people keep talking about 2004 as a dull season but i think that’s partly down to the championship battle and how it was neutered by ferrari having a clear 1 and 2 driver

        @frood19, The championship situation in 2004 didn’t help but there also wasn’t a great deal of overtaking going on elsewhere & from memory the overtaking stats show 2004 as been one of the poorest seasons on record for overtaking.

        There was some good racing & overtaking that season but they were very few & far between.

        1. But size of the contact patch is not directly related to the level of grip – this is a common misconception. Grip is related to the softness of the rubber. Changing tyre width will effect how tyres warm up and handle heat, as well as how quickly they wear out, but the grip will in theory be the same.

          The switch the narrower front tyres in 2010 may have forced a change in the rubber compound to stop them wearing out or overheating which would have reduced the front grip.

          A switch to wider tyres would allow Pirelli to make softer tyres if the thickness isn’t reduced a corresponding amount.

  8. Great read from Mika Hakkinen but strange that the official McLaren introduction says he started racing for the team in 1995? I clearly recall him racing ALL the 1994 season, as well as the last few races of 1993 alongside Ayrton Senna after Mr Andretti’s (ahem) departure. Nice job, McLaren marketing department! Hopefully not a sign of the ‘attention to detail’ being shown by the rest of the team…

    1. Maurice Hamilton Almanac: mid-2015.. McLaren confirm Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen drove for them in 2014.

      1. LoL lol lol, very good 😁

  9. I love Hockingheim more than the Nurburgring, however the old version of Hockingheim is so much better than the current layout and I wish they will return to its former layout but that will never happen…

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    16th January 2015, 5:28

    That video…well
    How come just 1st and 5th place completed race distance? So that 5th should actually be second!!!

    And well, pitstops of 3 and 10 minutes? WoooooooooooW
    another striking thing is how close to the track people were.

    1. As i understand it they did not need to switch car trow out the race. The drivers in second to forth place did. The rules back then was much different then today

  11. Everyone in that picture had to wear a hairnet, except Vettel. I can only assume that this is because several years of stress and recent constant-threat-of-firing has caused the Ferrari staff to begin molting.

    1. I think the snapshot might be the photo in a series of “Before and After” articles.

  12. Hockeyheim was one of the better races last year and I’m not a massive fan of the new Nurburgring, so I’m happy.

  13. I’m not to fussed about the Nürburgring not hosting Formula 1 this year. If it would have gone ahead, ticket prices would probably have gone up as well, meaning smaller audiences (especially with competition from the Österreichring) and perhaps even an overall loss in money.

    If I were in charge at the Nürburgring, I would forget about Formula 1 and shift my attention to that amazing race track in their back garden. They can perhaps host a couple more races on the Nordschleife, and perhaps if they can find some investors (which is a big ‘if’ of course), it might even be renovated to host events like WEC on the longest course they have – wouldn’t that be amazing?

    1. The WTCC are racing there this year.

  14. petebaldwin (@)
    16th January 2015, 10:15

    So Hockenheim are happy with this and have the money? Or is Bernie just making things up again.

    1. Hockenheim said that there no deal in place. It’s just talk at the moment. So pretty much Bernie talking ahead of the time.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        16th January 2015, 13:20

        So as expected, it’s just Bernie making stuff up to suit his own wants. In normal circumstances, he’d just cancel the German GP for a year but seeing as the reigning constructors champions are Mercedes, he’s backed himself into a corner and is now saying “Fine, it’ll be a Hockenheim”

        If I was running Hockenheim, I’d offer to run the race for him but at a dramatically cut price. From my understanding, Bernie needs Hockenheim at the moment more than Hockenheim needs a 2015 race….

        1. Exactly. Mercedes won’t allow the absence of German GP when they have so much showing off to do, so Bernie’s gonna have to eat some of the stinky stuff.

          1. Should we not be wondering what Bernie isn’t telling us rather than focusing on what he is – Standard Ecclestone diversion tactics :)

  15. I hope they haven’t forgotten about low-profile tyres. Istr that was being talked about for 2016 at one time.

  16. Personally, I don’t have a preference between the German races. I think that the ‘new’ Hockenheim gets a bad reputation because it is not the iconic old one but the races there have been very good in my opinion. The European GP, I felt, always favoured the circuit of the day which had money to spend and could guarantee a great crowd. This changed slightly with the GP of Luxembourg which was quite rightly cashing in on Schumi-mania of the late 90s and early 2000s. The move to Valencia was never going to work as street races are never that great unless they have the glamour of Monaco or the lights of Singapore. We simply don’t need more than 10% of the calendar to be away from race tracks. This is why I’m not too sure about the race in Azerbaijan.

    So this leads to the question: Which countries should host the European GP? The only country I can think of with 2 great race tracks for F1, other than Germany, is Italy. Mugello would offer limited overtaking chances but I always loved races at Imola. Jerez would be a honourable mention but not at the cost of the German or Italian GPs. I also can’t see a race at Brands Hatch ever happening nor Donnington given the fiasco of a few years ago. I think that there should be a French GP too considering their history but its only really Le Mans as Paul Ricard didn’t blow me away in the early 90s and Magny-Cours was always underwhelming.

    But once again the swings and roundabouts Formula 1 problem is cost. Races can’t be packed to full capacity because a lot of ticket prices are an unaffordable joke. The organisers need to charge highly though to get a place on the calendar and most of that money goes into one individuals pocket. This is a mad way for a sport to be run. Why can the powers at be not see that cheaper prices means more fans at the gate meaning more merchandise sold and more returning fans? And for goodness sake, allow these fans to watch these races on the Internet. Every single aspect of Formula 1 is either broken or unsustainable apart from what is happening on track which could change any minute. I genuinely believe that the powers that be have lucked in to the racing we see. And certainly don’t warrant the money they make from it.

  17. Doesn’t Germany have better tracks to race at than the ruined Hockenheim and the always bad Nurburgring short circuit?

  18. Stop me I might die of excitement…..I don’t think in 42 years I have looked forward to an F1 season less.

  19. Vettel’s picture rather strange. Very strange. :D

Comments are closed.