Atlas F1 A Lap of Nurburgring

Nurburgring, Bonn, Germanyby Paul Ryder, England

A flying lap of the 4.5 km Nurburgring circuit begins at the long start/finish straight. Powering down the straight, which is the highest part of the circuit, drivers hit 300 kmph in 6th gear as they reach the first corner, a tight right followed by a slightly longer left, the Castrol-S corner.

Watching they don't slide to the left as they turn into the sharp right, getting this corner right sets up for a fast exit at 170 kmph as you enter a short straight. Reaching 270 kmph in 6th gear, drivers break for a moderate left, taken at 180 kmph before switching across to the left of the circuit for the Ford Kurve, taken even slower at 105 kmph, second gear.

The Ford Kurve leads onto a straight which sees an elevation drop as they power down towards the slowest part of the circuit. Passing the first timing sector on the way, drivers reach the Dunlop-Kehre, a hairpin surrounded by a massive spectator stadium section. Slowing to 85 kmph for the moderate hair pin, drivers play with the throttle as they attempt to find grip and set up for quick exit and run up to a sweeping left and right taken at almost full throttle, at 250 kmph. This corner is tricky and can catch one out as he reaches the crest of the hill, being on the wrong line here can see him in the gravel.

Continuing the build up of speed along another straight, drivers power down towards the RTL Kerve, a tight left taken at 150 kmph followed by a right taken at 170 kmph. Again the car has to switch from right to left between each corner, leaving no room for error. Taking the Blt-Kurve, in 3rd gear, drivers run down a big elevation drop towards the ITT-bogen corner, which is a fast sweeping right taken at 265 kmph.

Watching on the entry as the car bottoms out before continuing up a hill towards one of the most tricky parts of the circuit, the Veedol-S chicane, also passing the second timing sector. Drivers break heavy from 290 to 100 kmph as they turn sharp left then right exiting the chicane and running over the exit kurbs. A short straight follows before the final corner, the Coca-Cola Kurve, taken at 110 kmph. This corner is vital to conclude a good lap and can set up for a fast run onto the start/finish straight, completing a lap of Nurburgring.

Paul Ryder© 1999 Atlas Formula One Journal.
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