In the circuit’s golden era Hockenheim was a guaranteed sell out event – the grandstands of the iconic stadium section were buzzing with the beer fueled passion of thousands of rowdy German F1 fans.
In the post Schumacher era, with the success of first Vettel and then Mercedes and Rosberg, German F1 fans have never had to look far for a home favourite. Neither managed to excite however in quite the same way and in the modern era its more likely the Hockenheimring will be transformed into a sea of orange as a swarm of Verstappen mania spills over from the Dutchman’s neighboring homeland.
Not only is Germany without a hero, older fans perhaps can’t help but feel a tinge of nostalgia for the old Hockenheim circuit that threaded through the woods between chicanes to form a 6.8 km track. Safety and security issues prompted a redesign of the circuit in 2002, leaving only the stadium and turn 1 sections intact.
As a spectator at the track though the benefits of the new layout are clear. No longer obscured by trees, more of the track is visible from the grandstands now. The shorter circuit length means more laps and so more chances to see what you’ve bought a ticket to see.
In some ways perhaps Hockenheim has been dulled down and lost some of what made it unique. But this is still a historic venue in a region with a huge fan base, and when it comes to race day 120,000 fans will almost certainly attest to this.
German Grand Prix F1 Spectator Tips
- Commuting is what you do when you’re not on holiday. Embrace the Hockenheim culture and camp at one of the many campsites near the circuit.
- When you’re not watching the track or singing old German folk songs with your new friends in the campsite, take a moment to visit some nearby points of interest. Salivate over some classic racing cars and motorbikes at the Hockenheim motorsports museum or pay your respects to an F1 legend and visit Jim Clark’s memorial at the place where he lost his life.
- Like the beer in your cool-box, organizers at Hockenheim are pretty chill, so you’re free to bring in any food and drink to the venue – just avoid glass bottles.
Weather at the track during F1 season is normally dry with temperatures averaging in the mid 20’s. Rain is uncommon but its worth bringing a light rain jacket just to be on the safe side.
I’m Danny, an incurable Formula 1 fan for over 30 years and founder of The F1 Spectator. My aim is to inform and inspire, arming you with helpful tips and advice for your next F1 trip.