Near-accident in the Fiat Punto: Nordschleife demands even F1 stars

( – Although the Formula 1 races at the Nürburgring have been taking place on the Grand Prix track since 1984, the appeal of the Nordschleife also grabs today’s Formula 1 stars. (Formula 1 2020 in the live ticker!) The more than 20 kilometers long, almost unchanged course since 1927, attracts drivers even on the racing weekend when they should actually concentrate on their race.

Nürburgring-Nordschleife, Wehrseifen, track

The Nürburgring-Nordschleife makes even Formula 1 stars sweat



McLaren driver Carlos Sainz, for example, admits that he enjoyed himself in a rental car in the “Green Hell” on Wednesday in the run-up to the Eifel Grand Prix: “Every time I come here I go to the Nordschleife. It’s a must.” ! It was three laps in a borrowed Audi A6. Actually, I shouldn’t say that because it could get me in trouble! “

“I always do that. My father took part in the 24-hour race here. So he knows the track very well. When I drove here in the 2014 World Series by Renault, he taught me the track.” He was not 20 years old then.

Local hero Sebastian Vettel also got to know the track early on: “The first time I was 17 years old and drove my private car on the Nordschleife. I had a terrible moment. After the Schwedenkreuz I almost had an accident because I did Had brake fading. “

Photos: Grand Prix of the Eifel

His mistake: “I drove the car like a sports car, which it was, but it was absolutely not designed for the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.”

Ricciardo with a rookie mistake

Daniel Ricciardo had a similar experience on his first attempt: “In 2008 I drove it in my private Fiat Punto. And believe it or not: I managed to slide off the track myself!”

Apparently he made the typical beginner’s mistake in the Adenauer Forst, which is well known from numerous tourist trips compilations on YouTube: “It went blindly uphill to the left and suddenly the curve closed properly. I wasn’t prepared for that. That’s why I was over the curb steered out and drove across the grass. “

Like most at this point, it was able to prevent an impact, as it is one of the few places with a generous run-off zone. “That was my last time for the time being. But I will [an diesem Wochenende] Come back. This time I will drive more slowly. “Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc also wants to explore the Nordschleife this race weekend.

Jackie Stewart, Nürburgring-Nordschleife, 1973

Formula 1 continued to race on the Nordschleife until the 1970s (here 1973)



Youngster Lando Norris, on the other hand, embodies the new generation: personally, he has never driven the Nordschleife, but has completed countless laps on it in sim racing: “I don’t have a single lap [in echt] shot, but I know them by heart from online racing. I really want to drive it. “

However, he wants to concentrate on his job first: “I’m here for the race weekend. I don’t want to do anything stupid beforehand. Maybe I can do a lap or something on Sunday evening or Monday before the flight. I think everyone in motorsport wants to someday sometimes drive on the Nordschleife. It’s definitely on my to-do list and hopefully it won’t be long. “

Vettel: F1 on the Nordschleife not excluded

Of course, there is always the issue of whether Formula 1 should drive on the Nordschleife again. The last race took place there in 1976 – with an inglorious outcome. The track is fantastic, all drivers agree on that. “It’s slim, it’s old-school,” says Ricciardo. Sainz and Vettel think that it is “really fun”.

Hear and be amazed: Vettel does not consider a return of Formula 1 to be ruled out. “I followed the 24-hour race and I’m a big fan of the Nordschleife. It would be fantastic if we did that. The track would have to be repaved and smoother. It would be the ultimate challenge.”

Ricciardo, however, has no illusions: “Now with Formula 1 there [Rennen] driving is a bit unrealistic. “

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