Exploring the Abandoned F1 Track at Iconic Venue Absorbed by Forest Following Tragic Death of British Driver
THE famous Hockenheimring circuit in Germany was remodelled in 2002 – with much of the old track now left covered in forestry.
Located in Baden-Wurttemberg, it first played host to the German Grand Prix way back in 1970.
The legendary venue attracted famous spectacles such as home hero Michael Schumacher coming third behind British winner Damon Hill in 1996Credit: AP:Associated Press
Growing trees now cover the old circuit at HockenheimCredit: imago images/Motorsport Images
This shot from the 1960 German GP shows how much F1 has changedCredit: Getty
Benetton’s Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella was involved in a crash with Michael Schumacher at the start of the German GP at Hockenheim in 2000Credit: Reuters
Here’s how the iconic circuit looked and has now been remodelledCredit: Rex
But just two years earlier, Formula 1 world champion Jim Clark was killed in an accident on the track while competing in the Formula 2 race Deutschland Trophae.
His Lotus 48 veered off the circuit and crashed into the trees.
The Briton, who had won the 1963 F1 world title, suffered a broken neck and skull fracture, and died before reaching the hospital at the age of 32.
The cause of the crash was never definitively identified, but investigators concluded it was most likely due to a deflating rear tyre.
Nowadays, the Hockenheimring looks very different.
The stadium section, start-finish straight and a small part of the first straight have stayed the same.
But the rest of the 4.2 mile has been consumed by the forest and replaced by a new infield circuit.
By the old circuit – now a wooded area – there is a memorial for Clark.
Meanwhile, a Grand Prix has not taken place at the Hockenheimring since 2019.
No new deal was struck after the last edition four years ago, with a race titled the German Grand Prix being omitted from the calendar ever since.
Due to several races being cancelled as a result of the Covid pandemic, the Eifel Grand Prix was held at the Nurburgring in October 2020 as a replacement event.
The picturesque Hockenheim Motodrom Water Tower is instantly identifiable to millions of F1 loversCredit: Alamy
Big names like Jody Scheckter, John Watson, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Jacques Laffite, Carlos Reutemann and Hans-Joachim Stuck competed in 1977Credit: Getty
Luciano Burti’s car is seen breaking apart after a collision with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari in 2001Credit: EPA
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