This weekend is the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring. The mammoth race with over 200 entrants takes place on the mighty Nurburgring Nordschleife, home of the German Grand Prix until 1976.
I’m sure the following is no more than a pipe dream, but let’s allow ourselves a little indulgence here and ask, how could F1 ever go back to the real Nurburgring? And how spectacular would it be if it did?
Looking at the restrictions on building a modern Grand Prix track makes for depressing reading.
Take smoothness for example – an F1 track’s surface must no vary by more than 3mm every four metres. Or corner banking, which may be no greater than a mere 10 degrees.
I understand the need and importance of pursuing a safer sport. But I think F1 has gone too far in terms of making tracks easier rather than safer. Look at how flat and unchallenging circuits like Bahrain and Shanghai are compared to the original Nurburgring.
The Nürburgirng is the greatest circuit in the world. Seeing F1 cars race thee again would be immense.
In order to do it the restrictions on track radius, gradient, smoothness and s on would have to be waived. The cost of installing new run-off areas would be huge, but hell, F1 is awash with cash and I bet if there was a will then a way would be found.
Yes, I know I’m being crazy, unreasonable and romantic. But Monte-Carlo’s extremes have been tolerated for decades. If it’s OK to have F1 cars blast through the Monaco tunnel at 150 mph with zero run-off in dim light, then perhaps with a little imagination and an Ecclestone-sized wad of cash, they could do the same at the Nurburgring.
At the very least, can we agree that F1 tracks have become too simple, too uniform, and too unchallenging, and that taking a bit more inspiration from the Nordschleife would be no bad thing?
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