News Verstappen wishes the Nordschleife: "Monaco isn't dangerous?"
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In 1976, the last Grand Prix took place on the legendary Nordschleife, and even if a return to Formula 1 seems unrealistic today, the dream lives on . And not only have hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans in the Eifel, in Germany and around the world - but also Nürburgring managing directors Mirco Markfort and Max Verstappen.
The Red Bull driver had enough time on Friday to give interviews while he waited in vain for training to begin. In one of them he was asked if he would like to take a lap with a Formula 1 racing car on the Nordschleife. His bold answer: "Better to start a race!"
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"Why not?" Asks Verstappen. The interviewer is amazed. The British Sky reporter thinks that this is far too dangerous. But the 23-year-old does not accept that: "Come on! Isn't Monaco dangerous? There we drive over 300."
In fact, the idea of a Grand Prix comeback on the Nordschleife has long haunted the minds of German motorsport makers. Allegedly, Hermann Tilke and Norbert Haug were already thinking years ago about how the "Green Hell" could be made fit for Formula 1 again. Nothing came of it in concrete terms.
mind game is taken up again and again
In the summer of 2017, things got new momentum. In an online survey carried out by 'Motorsport-Total.com', 33.07 percent of the participants stated that Formula 1 should return to the Nordschleife, "it cost what it wants". Another 41.57 percent found the idea charming but unrealistic.
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Armed with the results of the survey, we met, who immediately recognized the charm and described the idea as "fantastic": "Maybe it would be worth it to go through the Letting go of your head. The Nordschleife is one of the world's most cult tracks. "
And contrary to expectations, there was also. Markfort, who was already managing director of the track at the time, announced: "A possible return of Formula 1 to the legendary Nordschleife is certainly an interesting mental game." And it wasn't until again: "This vision is still haunted in the back of our heads."
Markfort: Formula 1 currently has other problems ...
In the discussions about the Eifel Grand Prix 2020, however, the Nordschleife never played a role because Markfort believes that Formula 1 "has other problems than itself to deal with daydreams. For such a vision you need stable conditions. [...] If you start something like that at some point, you need a lot more lead time. "
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But in spite of all the doom and gloom who regard a Nordschleife Grand Prix as crazy, Markfort insists in a recent interview with 'auto motor und sport': "There is no such thing as impossible." Of course, the cars need "a different set-up. But you drive in Monaco and Baku too. Where there's a will, there's a way," he believes.
"In the last two years two high-performance vehicles have already shown that it works. On the one hand, it was theand last year also the . These are two vehicles that were actually built for pure Grand Prix tracks with smooth asphalt. "
"I think the track would be fine"
"It was shown that it works with the right set-up and a driver who gets involved in the track. The manufacturers wouldn't have done that if the Nordschleife was on would have a major safety risk at some point. So I do think that the track would be fine, "said Markfort.
It is certain that an upgrade of the Nordschleife to Formula 1 standard in order to meet the necessary safety precautions would cost a lot of money on the one hand, and on the other hand would presuppose a concession from the FIA and Formula 1. For many it is simply inconceivable that all obstacles can be removed.
Not for Markfort: "As far as the annual modernization measures are concerned, the same applies to the Nordschleife as to the Grand Prix track. We have done a great deal of strength here in recent years, laying a lot of new asphalt and erecting additional safety fences. So you can't compare the Nordschleife with the times of Niki Lauda, "he says.
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