Eifel GP Preview – Mercedes “excited to go back to the Nürburgring”

© Daimler AG

Mercedes released the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix preview featuring comments from team boss Toto Wolff. You can read Wolff’s comments here!

“We’re very excited to go back to the Nürburgring,” said the Austrian.

“It’s an iconic race track that plays an important part in Mercedes racing history. It’s where the legend of the Silver Arrows was born back in 1934 and we are very proud to have added a few chapters to that rich heritage.

“The Nürburgring also brings back some personal memories for me: I watched my very first race here at the track, it’s where I fell in love with motor racing. I’ve also competed in many races here and even attempted the Nordschleife lap record back in 2009, which wasn’t my best idea. So I always enjoy returning to the Ring.

“In terms of the race weekend itself, we also know that the weather in the Eifel can be quite challenging at this time of year. It’s forecast to be cold, rainy and windy – which can make the race very unpredictable.

“The circuit is a demanding all-round test of the car, with a range of corner types and speeds; in the ambient conditions, it will be a fun challenge to best adapt the W11 to the demands of the circuit.

“It will be an exciting weekend,” concluded Wolff.

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Fact File: Eifel Grand Prix

  • The Eifel Grand Prix is the fourth different name for an F1 race held at the Nürburgring, having previously held the German, European and Luxembourg Grands Prix.
  • The 1934 Eifel Race was the birthplace of the Silver Arrows legend. On 3 June 1934, the newly developed Mercedes-Benz W25 won the Eifelrennen with an average speed of 122.5 km/h. Legend has it that the W25 was slightly above the weight limit for the 750kg Formula in which it competed, which is why, allegedly, its white paint was scraped off before the race to meet the regulatory limits, exposing its shiny bodywork – and the first Silver Arrow was born.
  • Formula One returns to the Nürburgring for the first time since the 2013 season, where Lewis Hamilton finished P5 and Nico Rosberg finished P9 in their Mercedes W04s.
  • The Nürburgring presents a good all-round test of a car’s performance, because it includes a wide range of corner speed and profiles – from high-speed turns, to slow-speed hairpins and twisty chicanes.
  • Lewis qualified on pole for the last F1 race at the Nürburgring in 2013 with a 1:29.398, and we expect this year’s W11 to be around five seconds faster than the W04.
  • It’s a track that requires high downforce levels, which means that the maximum speed anticipated for the W11 (316 km/h) is expected to be the lowest figure of the 2020 F1 calendar.
  • The Nürburgring’s undulations are one of its most striking features, with a large amount of elevation change. In fact, the difference between the highest point (the start/finish straight) and the lowest point (Turn 7) measures around 55 metres.
  • The modern Nürburgring’s pit straight is positioned in the same spot as the start/finish straight of the old Südschleife, which no longer exists. Most of the Südschleife’s former layout is now public road.
  • The opening of the ‘new’ Nürburgring track on the 12 May 1984 was celebrated with an exhibition race, where 16 F1 drivers – from both past and present seasons – and four local drivers competed in identical Mercedes 190E 2.3-16s. F1 newcomer Ayrton Senna won the race, just ahead of Niki Lauda – who started from the back of the field.
  • Turn 7 is one of the track’s most challenging sections, because the corner is quite heavily banked and therefore allows drivers to carry more speed through it. However, the approach and braking zone for Turn 7 is downhill and this can lead drivers to brake too late or overshoot the braking zone.
  • One of the biggest unknowns for all of the teams heading into the Eifel Grand Prix weekend is the track surface and how it has evolved over time, because getting the tyres to work and understanding the operating window will be crucial to unlocking performance out on track. This will make the laps in Friday practice even more important.
  • Another key element to the weekend will be the weather and, in particular, the temperature – which averages at just 9°C in October at the Nürburgring. This will present its own unique set of challenges for the tyres.
  • Turn 1 is the slowest corner on the track, taken at just 80 kph, but happens to also be one of the most interesting because the track widens and opens up considerably on the exit, allowing drivers to take a variety of different lines and making it a strong overtaking opportunity.

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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