Nurburgring's Nordschleife safety approved to Formula 1 standard
The infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife has been awarded an FIA Grade 1 safety certificate – making it eligible to host Formula 1 in the future.
The 14.1-mile circuit is notorious for being one of the most difficult challenges to navigate in motorsport, and significant investment has been made into improving safety at the track – which has resulted in it being awarded the highest grade of safety by the FIA until 2025.
Of course, the return of Formula 1 to the Nordschleife is unlikely, given lingering safety concerns in modern Formula 1 cars and contractual obligations to host races elsewhere.
We are ready! 🟢
➡ Winter construction work: Completed! ✅
➡ 2.5 million euros for 2.5 km of new track 🏗
➡ Döttinger Höhe via Tiergarten to the Hyundai N curve (Grand Prix track)
➡ Season start: Next week Saturday! 🚗 pic.twitter.com/E7og2kaLtX
— Nürburgring (@nuerburgring) March 2, 2022
The last grand prix took place at the ‘Green Hell’ in 1976, which saw a horror crash for Niki Lauda that almost killed the then-Ferrari driver, leaving him with severe burns before being left in a coma, but he was remarkably able to survive.
Circuit officials say they have spent €2.5 million (£2.1 million) on resurfacing around 2.5 kilometres of the circuit, along with 300 metres of new FIA-approved fencing being installed.
Work on these improvements took place throughout the winter months, which also encompassed tweaks to the shorter Grand Prix circuit that was last used in Formula 1 in the Covid-interrupted 2020 season.
A full racing schedule is set to take place on the Nordschleife this year, including the ADAC 24-hour race, which includes a 130-strong field, taking place at the end of May.
On the current Formula 1 calendar, meanwhile, Spa-Francorchamps has also been making changes to improve the safety of the circuit and renovate its facilities.
In their latest update, Spa revealed a new sausage kerb has been put in on the entry of Eau Rouge and Raidillon, with extra run-off added for an improved safety element at one of the fastest and most dangerous corners in the sport.
On top of that, gravel traps are being brought closer to the edge of the track at several points around the circuit, adding to the challenges facing drivers on the sport’s return to Belgium in August.
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