Red Bull’s Mark Webber is known for telling it like it is and we couldn’t be happier there is a bloke on the grid with this approach to nuanced public relations. This rings especially true when talking about Hockenheim. The circuit used to be quite a fierce configuration but it was neutered back in 2001 under pressure from Formula One to change its layout to a shortened version from it’s original 4+ miles in length.
This robbed us of the famed Ostkurve and long forest straights. One used to be able to walk the circuit and pay homage to the site of jim Clark’s tragic passing but now that monument is unceremoniously adrift int he woods somewhere. It’s a shame and Mark Webber agrees:
“The race is at Hockenheim this year and, to be honest, I much prefer the Nurburgring,” Webber said.
“The old Hockenheim was a really cracking circuit; it was a flat-out blast through the forest and every time I brake for Turn 2 on the new track I wish we continued in a straight line, on the route of the old circuit.
“There are a couple of overtaking places on the current track, particularly into the hairpin at the end of the back straight. But it’s not that thrilling to drive and it’s not even that technical.
Ron Dennis, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jarno Trulli have shared similar notions abotu the Herman Tilke Re-design and for my two cents, I agree with Webber. Hockenheim was something special for a host of great and not so great reason. The panache was there and to have it neutered is a real shame.
The one upside this weekend is that Hockenheim could bite back. How you say? read here.