Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport, has seen many legendary circuits throughout its history. However, when it comes to challenging and awe-inspiring tracks, few can rival the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Known as the “Green Hell,” this iconic circuit is renowned for its demanding nature and rich heritage within motorsport, something young F1 champion Max Verstappen is acutely aware of.
The Nordschleife, located in the Eifel Mountains of Germany, was completed in 1927. It quickly gained a reputation for being one of the most treacherous and exhilarating tracks in the world. In the early years of Formula 1, the Nordschleife hosted the German Grand Prix, becoming a pivotal event on the calendar. Legends like Juan Manuel Fangio and Jackie Stewart showcased their skills on this unforgiving circuit, further enhancing its reputation as a true test of bravery and skill.
What sets the Nordschleife apart from other Formula 1 tracks is its sheer length and challenging layout. Spanning over 20 kilometers, the circuit winds its way through dense forests, featuring over 150 corners and significant elevation changes. The undulating nature of the track demands precise car control, concentration, and an intimate knowledge of its nuances.
The famed “Karussell” corner, a banked hairpin, and the “Flugplatz” section with its high-speed jumps are just a couple of examples of the track’s iconic sections that push drivers to their limits.
Although Formula 1 stopped racing on the Nordschleife, competing at this track presents a unique challenge for any type of car, let along an F1 car.
The long lap length and unpredictable weather conditions make tire strategy crucial. With the changing nature of the circuit, it is impossible to have the perfect setup. Additionally, the Nordschleife’s length requires a higher level of endurance and focus from drivers, testing their mental and physical abilities to the limit.
Above all, it is also known as one of the most dangerous tracks in the world.
Red Bull say no
Red Bull has denied Max Verstappen the opportunity to drive on the iconic Nordschleife track at the Nürburgring in Germany during a show run scheduled for September. The event will feature Red Bull’s former driver Sebastian Vettel and Verstappen’s ex-teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Verstappen expressed his desire to participate in the event and drive on the renowned northern loop of the Nürburgring. However, the Dutch driver revealed that his team did not grant him permission due to obvious reasons.
When Verstappen mentioned the announcement of Vettel’s participation to Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, he received an immediate response denying his request.
Verstappen understands why
“I’d love to, but I don’t want to cause unnecessary problems. When I heard that [Vettel’s announcement], I was sitting at the table with Helmut, and he immediately said, ‘No, no you can’t do that’,” Verstappen explained in Montreal.
Despite missing out on the Nordschleife opportunity, Verstappen remains hopeful that he will have the chance to drive on the track someday, preferably in a Formula 1 car. However, if that is not possible or permitted, he is open to the idea of experiencing it in a GT car, for example.
Currently, Verstappen holds a commanding lead in the drivers’ championship ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, with a 53-point advantage.