Hockenheimring – Germany
The approval for a new race track was given the green light on Christmas Day in 1931 with construction beginning on Germany’s newest race track in March. The track’s first fundamental changes were made in 1938, adding in the eastern fast curve known as the Ostkurve. Then in ’66, over the two-year spell, the circuit was revamped with the inclusion of a new ‘motodrome’ section, boasting a new Pit-straight, a fan-friendly stadium and a short course running clockwise.
The first F1 Grand Prix to be staged at Hockenheimring happened in 1970. In preparation, two chicanes were inserted on the two main straights, with a new Pit lane constructed 10 years later. The Ostkurve was given a chicane om ’82 and was further refined, again, 10 years later. ’94 saw the new chicanes tightened to make them tougher and slower.
Up until 1999, these were the only changes that have been made to the Hockenheimring, however, in 1999 plans for a full reconstruction were laid out to keep the F1 Grand Prix at the circuit. A slight straightening to the Pit lane was made this year but in 2002 work began on the major changes including drastically shortening the track, replacing the long-forested section with more tight corners at a cost of 62 million Euros.
F1 is an ever-changing sport. As the mechanics and technicians find ways to make their cars faster and the governing bodies strive to bring more excitement into their races, we’re sure it won’t be long before more changes are made to these circuits.