Fans of F1 who are still prone to lament the passing of the old Hockenheimring (that would be me then) should take solace that now at least, so much more of the racing takes place, not deep in the German wilderness, but in front of grandstands where people can see it.
Best Grandstands at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim
There are no bad grandstands at Hockenheim. Whether you choose seats in the ever popular, unchanged stadium section, action packed turn 1 or the circuits newest Mercedes Tribune, some are better than others but none are weak.
North Grandstand (Nordtribune)
The best vantage point for fans wanting to get a view of the start and the tumult into turn 1. The corner underwent a minor re-profiling in 2002 but hasn’t changed much since the 1960s and has seen spectacular lap 1 incidents over the years.
In 2001 a slow moving Michael Schumacher caught Luciano Burti off guard, the Brazilian hitting the Ferrari and launching his car into the air. And in 2014 Kevin Magnusen tangled with Felipe Massa flipping the Williams into the gravel trap.
The North grandstand is one long grandstand that wraps its way around turn 1. Along its length its divided into subsections A, B and C, and vertically into blue (upper rows), red (mid level) and orange (lowest level).
Seats in the mid or upper sections of the stand fair better and section B, with it’s proximity to the apex of turn 1 and close enough for a distant view of the starting grid wins my vote for the best seats in this grandstand.
The anticipation of the start will be reason enough for many fans to choose the North Grandstand, but being a single corner view there are better seats available at the Hockenheimring.
TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS
Note: only some sections of the North Grandstand are covered.
The Mercedes grandstand is situated at turn 8 and as well as close up views of this corner and the following acceleration zone, the grandstand boasts impressive views of the track all the way from the back straight leading into the hairpin right up to where the cars disappear from view around turn 9.
Its definitely worth the extra to be in the upper rows to have a view over a much greater expanse of track.
Clear views of multiple corners and a giant screen directly opposite means that this is a grandstand that won’t disappoint. Really all it lacks is the atmosphere of the iconic stadium section
TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS
Stadium section: South and Inner Grandstands
The stadium, or motodrom, section of Hockenheim long ago established its virtues as a classic vantage point to watch live motorsports. The multiple corner views coupled with electric atmosphere of over 50,000 fans all serve to make this section a very special place to spectate from.
Cars roar into sight around the sweeping turn 11. The following Sachs Kurve is an occasional overtaking spot and drivers will look for the perfect line through turn 11 to get close enough for a late braking lunge into the low speed left hander. Varying lines through the final three corners can see wheel to wheel racing continue through this sequence of corners that lead onto the main straight.
Inner Grandstand (Innentribune)
Another large grandstand in the stadium section at Hockenheim, the Inner grandstand more or less faces opposite the South grandstand and so offers a view of the same section of track from the other side. It begins at the exit to turn 11 (section A) and clings to the short straight which follows (section B) and ends at the tight Sachs curve (section C).
Which section you choose will come down to a choice between being close to the Sachs curve for unrivaled views of possible overtakes and photo opportunities as cars slow right down , or A or B which have better views of the more distant turns 13 and 14. Whichever section you’re in, as always, seats on the upper levels fair better.
TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS GOOD FOR PHOTOS
Note: only some sections of the Inner Grandstand are covered.
South Grandstand (Sudtribune)
The South grandstand starts at turn 15 and curves around the Sudkurve, up the main straight to meet the Main grandstand. Views encompass the entire final section of the circuit as well as the start / finish straight.
The stand is divided into 3 main sections each of which are further divided into lower middle and upper levels. A and B make up the first part of the stand close to turn 15; C and D in the central part of the stand clings to the Sudkurve and E,F,G and H continue from here and up the main straight.
If your budget can make it work it’s worth it to get at least a mid level seat in this grandstand. Mid level seats are easily high enough to see a clear view of the track without the catch-fencing being an issue.
The choice is yours then whether you prefer to be lower and closer to the track and the cars or get some elevation and have a better view of the more distant corners of the stadium section and the starting grid.
The mid section of the Sud Tribune has one extra level, known by its German name of ‘oberrang’ or upper ranking. These are the most expensive grandstand seats at Hockenheim, and for good reason. The extra elevation commands the broadest view of the motodrom section as well as clear views of the start / finish line.
TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS F1S CHOICE
Note: only some sections of the South Grandstand are covered.