Germany

22, 23, 24 July

Track: Nürburgring
No. of Laps: 60 Length: 5.148 km
Distance: 308.863 km km
Lap Record: 1:29.468 M. Schumacher (2004)
2011 Winner:

The German Grand Prix (Großer Preis von Deutschland) is an annual automobile race, which was first included in the Formula One World Championship calendar only in 1951 as Germany was banned from taking part in international events after World War II. 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.

History

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.

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.

The Grand Prix moved to the new, 28 km (17.4 mi)-long course at Nürburgring, which was inaugurated on June 18, 1927, with the annual race, the ADAC Eifelrennen. It stayed mainly on the 22.8 km (14.2 mi) Nordschleife (North Loop) course until the 1970s, when the rival Hockenheimring would take over owing to safety concerns.

The 1930 and 1933 German Grands Prix were both cancelled because of the country’s economic problems.

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.

After Bernd Rosemeyer and Hans Stuck scored one victory each, Rudolf Caracciola took the German GP in 1937 and again in 1939, a feat no other German driver accomplished between 1937 and 1995, when Michael Schumacher won.[clarification needed] During this time, foreigners scored two upset wins: Italian Tazio Nuvolari in 1935 and the British Dick Seaman in 1938.

At that time, a new track had been 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.

After WWII, Germany and German drivers were banned from international contests until 1951, so the inaugural F1 Season in 1950 did not include the German GP. The first Formula One German GP went back to the Nürburgring.

Owing to the decline in attendance after the retirement of Mercedes and Juan Manuel Fangio, the AvD returned the German GP to AVUS in 1959. Owing to the simple layout of this high speed track and several accidents, it was considered a bad move. In anticipation of 1961 rule changes in F1, the 1960 GP was held for Formula 2 cars of Porsche as well as the F2 Ferrari Dino of Wolfgang von Trips, which did not show up. This GP did not count towards the World Championships, and was also held on the shorter 7.7 km (4.8 mi) Nürburgring Südschleife (South Loop).

After the former Formula 2 rules were declared the new Formula 1, Porsche entered Formula 1 in 1961. Additional F1 races were held at their home town Stuttgart at the Solitude circuit. These races, joined together with Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Championship events, drew an average of 288,000 spectators. There were rumours that the German Grand Prix might be moved to the more popular track, yet the opposite happened, as the Solitude races were canceled after 1965, while the GP had returned to the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 1961.

In 1970, drivers asked for safety improvements on such short notice that they could not be made, and the German Grand Prix moved to the Hockenheimring, which had already been modified. After a rebuild, the Nordschleife hosted six more GPs, drawing as many as 375,000 spectators. Formula 1 finally declined to race there after 1976, with Niki Lauda’s near-fatal crash sealing this decision.

From 1977 to 2006, the Hockenheimring was the German Grand Prix’s permanent home, with the exception of the event in 1985, which was held on the new 4.5 km (2.8 mi) Nürburgring. In 1984 an additional F1 race already had been held at the Nürburgring following the inauguration of its modern “Grand Prix Strecke” layout. Following the success of Schumacher, this went on to become the venue for a second annual F1 race in Germany, the European Grand Prix or Luxembourg Grand Prix since 1995.

In 2006 it was announced that from 2007 until 2010, the German Grand Prix would be shared between the Nürburgring (former home of the European Grand 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. 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.

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