German Grand Prix Betting

The very first race run under the title “German Grand Prix” was held in 1926 on public roads near Berlin—a circuit known as the Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungsstraße or “AVUS.” The event was dominated by German drivers, with Rudolf Caracciola coming in first, Christian Riecken second and Willy Cleer third. Unfortunately, the race was marred by the death of three people when Adolf Rosenberger’s car crashed into one of the marshals’ huts. As a result, no German Grand Prix would be held at the AVUS track again until 1959.

The very first Formula One German Grand Prix was held in 1951 as part of the second season of the FIA World Championship of Drivers. It was the sixth leg of the eight-race competition, staged on 29 July at the original Nürburgring, the so-called Nordschleife—a complex road route around the village of Nürburg in Rhineland-Palatinate that was used for pre-WWII Grand Prix racing. The course covered an awe-inspiring 22.5 kilometres (14 miles) with 172 corners. In fact, it was so long and complicated that drivers complained they could not remember their racing lines. Nevertheless, the inaugural running was won by Italy’s Alberto Ascari racing for Ferrari.

Despite the complexity of the circuit, the Nordschleife course served as the primary venue for the “Grosser Preis von Deutschland” on 22 occasions through 1976, producing two three-time winners—Argentina`s Juan Manuel Fangio (1954, 1956 and 1957) and Britain`s Jackie Stewart (1968, 1971 and 1973). Other than the 1959 race at AVUS won by Great Britain’s Tony Brooks, the only other raceway to host the F1 German Grand Prix during that period was the Hockenheimring situated near the town of Hockenheim in Baden-Württemberg.

The Hockenheimring circuit was originally built in 1932 using roads in the forest. It was just over 6.8 kilometres long, including two long straights with a lengthy “Eastern” corner in the woods and a U-turn inside Hockenheim joining the straights together. In 1968, this was the site of an F2 crash that killed British driver Jim Clark. For the 1970 German Grand Prix, the course was fitted with two new chicanes and lined with crash barriers. The ultimate winner of that year’s race was Austria’s Jochen Rindt.

The last use of the Nordschleife course came in 1976, when Niki Lauda of Austria was involved in a terrifying accident and suffered horrendous burns. The race concluded with Britain’s James Hunt as the winner, but thereafter FIA withdrew the Nürburgring’s license to hold Formula One events. In 1977, the site of Germany’s FI Grand Prix moved to the Hockenheimring, where most incredibly a recovered Niki Lauda was the victor. But for a single attempt to return to a new Nürburgring asphalt course called the “GP Strecke” in 1985, the race would remain at the Baden-Württemberg circuit through 2006.

Among the many drivers to leave their mark on the Hockenheimring and the German Grand Prix during this period were two Brazilians: Nelson Piquet winning in 1981, 1986 and 1987, and Ayrton Senna with the hat-trick in 1988-90. From Germany’s point of view, however, the most important win of that era came in 1995, when the son of a bricklayer from North Rhine-Westphalia became the country’s first native champion—Michael Schumacher. It turned out to be just the beginning of the German’s dominance of the track, as he won three more times at the Hockenheimring in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

By 2007, the Nürburgring had proven its worthiness to host Formula One racing by serving as the venue for the European Grand Prix on a new GP Strecke track measuring 5.148 kilometres. A decision was taken to alternate the site of the German Grand Prix between Hockenheim in even numbered years and Nürburg in odd-numbered years. The move has benefited both locations, as they had been unprofitable trying to compete against each other.

Since then, Britain’s Lewis Hamilton (2008, 2011) and Spain’s Fernando Alonso (2010, 2012) have each won a pair of German Grand Prix titles. What’s more, a new local hero has arisen, Sebastian Vettel, who became the second German to take the checkered flag when he triumphed at the Nürburgring in 2013. In 2014, the native of Hesse will see if he can gain a repeat at the Hockenheimring on 20 July.

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