The dead Grand Prix: the craziest German GPs

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Z between 1951 and 2014 the GP Germany took place exactly 61 times instead of. In addition, 14 extra-territorial Grand Prix on German soil. Under the seal of European GP and Luxembourg GP. This means that one can confidently speak of a dinosaur at Formula 1 events in Germany. Nevertheless there is no species protection. This year the grandstands at the Nürburgring and in Hockenheim will remain empty.

The GP Germany was scheduled for the third weekend in July from July 17th to 19th. It was canceled in March. Because after the double sale, the Nürburgring was not able to host the Grand Prix as scheduled. The suggestion to let Bernie Ecclestone take over the house rights in exchange for a route rental was rejected.

Hockenheim also had to pass. The off-plan contract would have cost $ 15 million. Too much risk, found the Hockenheimring GmbH. From March to July you would never have sold the necessary 60,000 tickets.

That made it clear: For the first time since 1960 there is no Grand Prix on German soil. Although Hockenheim is back on the calendar in 2016, many are afraid that Germany will soon experience the same fate as France. Also a traditional race that found no mercy in the Formula 1 marketers. The last Grand Prix took place there in 2008. What felt like an eternity ago.

The GP Germany this weekend is therefore only taking place in the head. The hour for historians strikes. We have selected five Grand Prix out of the long history that have shaped Germany's largest racing event since Formula 1 was introduced. Join us again:

GP Germany 1957, Nürburgring, winner Juan-Manuel Fangio

This Grand Prix earned an entry in the top ten of Formula 1 in every ranking list -History. The Nürburgring saw Juan-Manuel Fangio's last and greatest Grand Prix victory. And a race to catch up, as it is offered once every jubilee year.

After the training everything was as usual. Fangio took pole position in the Maserati 250F with 9.25.6 minutes in front of Mike Hawthorn, Jean Behra and Peter Collins. The Ferrari-Lancia made a much better impression on the Nordschleife. The tire situation determined the tactics.

Ferrari's Englebert soles were so hard that they survived the entire race distance. Pirelli supplied softer rubbers for Maserati. However, they had to be swapped at half time. That is why Fangios became the 250Feven half fueled to give him the chance to escape. The maestro's route looked like this. Fangio should pull out a 30 second lead. During practice, the Maserati mechanics managed to refuel and change 4 tires in 30 seconds.

The race initially went according to plan. After 12 of 22 laps, the Maserati driver had to pit. But in the heat of the moment, the exchange of the four Pirellis took too long. A 28-second lead turned into a 45-second deficit on the two Ferraris from Hawthorn and Collins. Then the big Fangio show began.

With a series of record laps he caught up with the Ferrari again. On the 20th lap, the man from Balcarce drove as if from another planet. Eyewitnesses reported that he came across the curves in the Fuchsröhre and the Antoniusbuche without lifting. The lap record of 9.17.4 minutes was an unbelievable 8.2 seconds below his own training best time and 23 seconds below the old record.

In the penultimate lap, Juan-Manuel Fangio then left his two opponents behind. His fourth win of the season secured him the fifth world title ahead of schedule. After the race, the great Argentine confessed: 'I never want to have to drive the way I do today. I took risks to win like never before in my career.'

GP Germany 1970, Hockenheimring, winner: Jochen Rindt

Three weeks before the German GP, ​​Jochen Rindt and Graham Hill visited the Nürburgring. They presented the organizer with an 18-point plan on how to improve his racetrack. The demands could not be met in the short time. Because the drivers threatened a boycott, the AvD had to delete the Eifel piste from the event calendar.

The GP convoy moved to Hockenheim without further ado. After Jim Clark's fatal accident two years earlier, the 6.789 kilometer long track had been completely framed with guard rails and provided with two braking curves on the long straight forest. Jackie Stewart heretically asked the Nürburgring advocates: 'What has changed on the ring since 1950? Nothing. Only the trees got thicker.'

The Motodrom was bursting at the seams on the 3 days of the Formula 1 festival . 125,000 spectators flocked to the track. Only one sat at the Nürburgring. Star journalist Denis Jenkinson refused to recognize Hockenheim as a serious race track. He wrote the story about a fictional Grand Prix in the Eifel. It couldn't have been better than what took place 200 kilometers further south.

The race developed into a great duel between Jochen Rindt and Jacky Ickx. At first the two main actors were accompanied by Clay Regazzoni and Chris Amon. On the 31st lap, Regazzoni was eliminated by a brilliant spin because of a striking gearbox. Three laps later, Chris Amon had engine failure.

The showdown was inthemselves. Rindt and Ickx swapped places a total of eleven times. They had previously agreed not to unpack any dirty tricks in a duel. In the 49th of 50 laps, Rindt was the first to enter the Motodrom. And the Lotus driver stayed there too. He defended the lead with a lead of 0.7 seconds to the finish line.

GP Germany 1976, Nürburgring, winner: James Hunt

The GP Germany was not a good star. The race was preceded by weeks of discussions about the safety of the Nordschleife. The drivers put the 22.835-kilometer route on the hit list. Their ringleader was called Niki Lauda. The ring was given an ultimatum. If no more fall space was created at critical points by the coming year, then the 1976 edition should be the last Grand Prix on the Eifel piste.

Niki Lauda came to Nürburg as a persona non grata. The Austrian was not impressed by this. On the day before the race he dictated into the microphones provided: 'The Nürburgring is no longer up to date in this form.' The seven-minute sound barrier did not fall this time. James Hunt's pole position of 7.06.5 minutes was eight seconds above Lauda's record from last year.

Was it a bad omen that the Vienna Reichsbrücke collapsed on the morning of August 1st? Niki Lauda and his colleagues had other worries. It started raining shortly before the start. First at the distant parts of the route, then at the start and finish. The organizer issued the slogan 'wet race'. Everyone converted to rain tires. All but one. Jochen Mass played poker with slicks. He got the tip from a local that the rain would stop soon.

Indeed: When the field came back from the first lap, the rain had stopped. Jochen Mass already took second place behind Ronnie Peterson. A lap later, he was miles ahead. By then, practically the entire field had switched to slicks. And at the end of the third lap, Mass was shown 32 seconds ahead of Gunnar Nilsson, who was the only one who persevered on rain tires. Then the track announcer reported a serious accident at the mine. The race was stopped immediately.

Slowly it transpired that Niki Lauda had grazed a curb in the left bend between the Ex-Mühle and the mine and then turned right into a rock face. The following cars of Guy Edwards, Harald Ertl and Brett Lunger crashed into the standing Ferrari and pushed it like a billiard ball further and further down the street. Arturo Merzario was just able to stop his Williams.

The 312T2's torso caught fire immediately. Lauda lost his helmet on impact and sat defenseless in his cockpit for 40 seconds. Merzario immediately plunged into the flames and, with the help of Edwards and Lunger, pulled Lauda out of the car. The World Cup leader was in the with severe burns on the face and armsFlown to Mannheim University Hospital.

The toxic fumes had burned his lungs. The doctors fought for the Austrian's life for three days. Then there was the all-clear. The media hype exceeded everything that had been there before. A star became a superstar.

Seven participants were missing from the restart. The second part of the race was a clear business for James Hunt. Jody Scheckter tried to upset the McLaren driver with a series of fast laps, but Hunt had an answer ready for every attack by his pursuer. At the finish the lead was a reassuring 28 seconds.

Jochen Mass consoled himself with a third place about the thwarted chance of victory in the first run. Nobody thought of celebrating at that moment. Shortly after crossing the finish line, word got around in the paddock that Niki Lauda was in mortal danger.

GP Germany 2000, Hockenheimring, winner Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello needed 123 attempts to make his first Grand Prix to be won. The way there was paved with curiosities and incidents like seldom a Formula 1 race before. Barrichello's drive to victory began in 18th place on the grid. That set his tactics in stone. The Brazilian would start with a light car and a two-stop strategy.

Barrichello appeared in third place after just 15 laps. After his first pit stop, the Brazilian was 34 seconds apart from Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard. Actually a hopeless thing. Then suddenly a man in a robe ran across the track on the first straight through the forest. The cars were there at a top speed of 360 km /h.

The safety car caught the field out of fear of suicide. Marshals arrested the stray. It was a former Mercedes employee who wanted to protest against his dismissal from a plant in Lyon.

It was the irony of fate that his life-threatening commitment brought McLaren-Mercedes out of the win. The neutralization led everyone to the pit to change tires. One and two stoppers were reunited. Häkkinen and Coulthard's time advantage had been used up. A second safety car phase due to a serious accident involving Jean Alesi had no effect on the race. It just prolonged the wait.

On the 33rd lap it started to rain. Only in the Motodrom was the road wet. With the exception of Rubens Barrichello and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, everyone went on rain tires. The two poker players had bet on the correct card. What Barrichello lost in the Motodrom, he got back on the long straights and in the three chicanes.

Those who were on rain tires had to take their foot off the gas in the dry passages in order not to close the treaded soles ruin. Barrichello saved a 7.4 second lead over Häkkinen over the distance. He howled like a castle dog on the podium.

Where was team mate Michael Schumacher actually? He got only 400 meters. The Ferrari driver had to avoid a wildly jerking Coulthard and got into Giancarlo Fisichella's lane. The Benetton and the Ferrari collided.

GP Europe 2007, Nürburgring, winner: Fernando Alonso

It was a strange race, this GP Europe, which could not be called GP Germany because it was not organized by the AvD. Constant weather changes with a start on a dry track, a downpour after a minute, a dry phase in the middle section and rain at the end.

Plus 75 pit stops, a compulsory break of 22 minutes and a duel for victory, the one after the crossing of the finish line was verbally continued. The winner Fernando Alonso confronted Felipe Massa because he had driven him into the left side box of his McLaren while overtaking. Since a collision at the Spanish GP, the climate between the Spaniard and Brazilian was poisoned.

The first lap brought the first high point. Although the weather radar immediately announced a heavy downpour, only Spyker reacted correctly, pitting GP debutant Markus Winkelhock and sending him back into the race with intermediates. The replacement for Christijan Albers prayed for a quick rain. He was heard.

While the stars whipped through the deluge with dry tires, Winkelhock took the lead at his first GP start. In the third round the world ended. The first corner was transformed into a lake landscape that washed six drivers into the gravel. Vitantonio Liuzzi almost cleared the safety car on his departure.

Five drivers immediately left their cars. Lewis Hamilton stayed in his McLaren. 2.08 minutes later a crane had lifted him back onto the asphalt, where his journey continued one lap behind. That was just as new as the break that was called at the beginning of the fourth round. The track was only passable again after 22 minutes.

With the safety car, the field took the lead in front of Markus Winkelhock's Spyker. During the restart, Manfred Winkelhock's son was inhaled by seven colleagues within a very short time. Only 6 laps later the pits were busy again. Everyone switched back to dry tires.

Then the race calmed down. The European GP developed into a three-way battle between Massa, Alonso and Räikkönen, from which the Finn got out because the hydraulics on his Ferrari went on strike. Massa managed to outrun Alonso by 8.6 seconds, but then the lead began to shrink. Especially when it started to rain again and McLaren Alonso increased the understeer at the last pit stop by changing the front wing.

Massa was only able to keep Alonso in check for four laps. Then there was Alonso's attack and Massa's harsher between the Valvoline and Ford cornersResistance, which caused heated discussions in the Parc fermé.

In our gallery we show scenes from the Top 5 German Grands Prix again.


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