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Nick Heidfeld on the Nordschleife

On Friday, Nick Heidfeld took the BMW Sauber F1.06 around the Nordschleife circuit at Nurburgring, as promised. You can see the video on the BMW Sauber website or (naturally) on YouTube.

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The car was shod with demonstration Bridgestones, which are slower than racing tires, and Nick had strict orders to take it easy but, even so, he looked to be trying pretty hard at some points. Not at the Karousel, however – he rounded that very carefully, understandably since it is very bumpy by modern F1 standards and the car would bottom out even with the ride height jacked up as far as it would go, as it was.

But there was a story a few days ago that he would not be allowed to take the Karousel at all so we should be grateful that he went round it at all. In the end, it was a fantastic sight and gave us a glimpse of how things might have been had F1 continued racing at the track through the intervening years.

Safety reasons have been the excuse for dropping so many circuits off the calendar but, in the Nordschleife’s case, there is no doubt that this was true. Even with the amount of money floating around in the sport today, it would be impossible to provide adequate marshaling and emergency coverage for the full 14 miles of the track. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream.

Perhaps there should be an annual event of this type at the circuit, one to include the other teams as well; just demonstration runs by each car on its own, so that we could be reminded once again of the great circuit and its famous history combined with the sound and speed of modern F1.

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But, whatever happens, thank you to BMW for making this happen and for the video – a wonderful sight.

4 Responses to “Nick Heidfeld on the Nordschleife”

  1. I understand that the demo-only Bridgestones are about 10secs slower than the race ones.

    That’s brilliant. Let’s put a F1 in the most dangerous circuit ever with tires that have absolutely no grip.

  2. Yes, I heard that about the demo tires too, Haplo. The trouble is: 10 secs around which circuit – the Nordschleife? Or some other circuit? Ten seconds around the Nordschleife is nothing, around most other tracks it’s a lifetime. So it’s a bit meaningless to quantify the tires in that way – sufficient for us to know they have less grip.

    Judging from the video, I’d say the tires have plenty of grip but are not good enough for racing, that’s all. At least they give us an idea of how things would be in a fully set-up F1 car today.

  3. Personally, I think all that is rubbish. It’s a F1, and it’s a F1 driver. It would have been absolutely great if they’d let Nick go flat out, and make the track record seem like ages.

    Alas, it’s the ring, and what they did was good enough. Now pray that they make it a yearly event.

  4. Yeah, I second that, Haplo – a yearly event would be brilliant. Could even develop into something like the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

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