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German Grand Prix

Formula 1 season 2018

Circuit information
CircuitHockenheimring
LocationHockenheim
CountryGermany
TimezoneGMT +01:00
Race debut1970
Laps67
Length4.574 km
Distance306.458 km
Line offset0.000 km

Event overview

The track was originally a lot longer, nestling in the surrounding forests, and sweeping through the countryside. Safety concerns saw the lap shortened, and the circuit redesigned, which helped keep the racing up to date and modern. Many bemoaned the lack of character in the new version of the track, and there were a lot of complaints about the loss of personality.

However, Germany boasts a vibrant and engaged set of motorsport fans, many of whom cheered their seven times world champion Michael Schumacher to success, and are now watching Sebastian Vettel repeat such domination. With several German racers on the grid, there are always home racers to cheer on, and plenty of fans to do the supporting. The atmosphere around the circuit can’t be questioned, even if the on-track action doesn’t always deliver.

The lap opens with a fast corner that leads into a bumpy second turn, meaning there isn’t always the first lap chaos that can occur when the pack are backed up into each other. The old circuit veers off to the left but the new continues to the right with plenty of high speed straights to follow. Hermann Tilke’s hand is clear to see as each straight ends abruptly with a tight turn, which offer up a handful of overtaking opportunities.

As with every track, setting up the car correctly is crucial, and at Hockenheim it requires a compromise between top speed and stability under braking. The track is one of the hardest on the brakes, and in high temperatures there can be reliability problems throughout the field over the course of a full two hour race.

The final part of the lap has grandstands lining the track, allowing the fans to get closer to the action, and the drivers to appreciate those who have come to support them. It can be a claustrophobic end to the lap, but then the start/finish line is crossed and the drivers set off again to try and top their previous time.

The track was part of an alternating deal with the Nürburgring, but ahead of the 2015 season, it became clear that the other German track wouldn't be able to continue as hosts. Hockenheim underwent negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone, but stuck to their own bi-annual schedule meaning the race drops off the calendar every other year.

Learn more about Hockenheim with the Pocket F1 Handbook.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
20 JulFridayFree Practice 1TBCTBC
Free Practice 2TBCTBC
21 JulSaturdayFree Practice 3TBCTBC
QualifyingTBCTBC
22 JulSundayGrand PrixTBCTBC