The Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit, also known as the GP-Strecke layout, is an iconic track located in the town of Nürburg, Germany. Here are some quick facts about the circuit and its history:
- The track was built in 1984 and is 5.148 km (3.199 miles) long with 15 turns
- The Nürburgring GP circuit is part of a larger complex that also includes the Nordschleife, a 20.8 km (12.9 mile) track that is considered one of the most challenging and dangerous tracks in the world. The Nordschleife is not used for Formula One races due to safety concerns and is currently not present in Assetto Corsa Competizione.
- The circuit has undergone several changes over the years, with the most recent major redesign taking place in 2002. The new layout was designed by Hermann Tilke and features a tighter and more technical track than the previous version.
- The Nürburgring has a rich motorsports history, with the original Nordschleife track hosting its first race in 1927. The track has hosted numerous legendary races and drivers over the years, including the famous Nürburgring 24-hour race and drivers such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Jackie Stewart, and Niki Lauda.
- The track is known not only for its history but also for its scenic location in the Eifel Mountains
This track guide will focus on giving you a comprehensive understanding of this historic circuit and iall of its technicalities. We’ll be showing you racing lines, braking points, how to choose your apex, when to get on the throttle, and finally, how to use your vision to maximize your exits and avoid off-tracks.
Turn 1 (Castrol-S)
A sharp downhill right-hand hairpin that is easily misjudged especially under braking opens a lap of the Nurburgring GP circuit.
Approaching Turn 1, you will need to be on the left-hand side of the circuit. Keep your vision focused ahead as the road suddenly angles to the right as you reach your braking point – the 100-metre board or the start of the red-and-white kerbing.
Brake hard in a straight line and shift down to first gear and delay your turning-in point as you aim for a late apex. You will need to use a slight amount of trail braking here and as you hit the dip at the apex, then immediately start applying the throttle.
Get on the power as aggressively as your traction will allow and open the steering to maximize the exit. Don’t be too concerned if you go too far left as it will not cost you a huge amount of lap time and rather focus on getting the best exit possible.
Turn 2, Turn 3 and Turn 4 (Mercedes Arena)
Turn 2 is a medium-speed left-hand corner that feeds into Turn 3, a downhill off-camber left-hand turn that keeps tightening. Your racing line, flow and throttle control are crucial throughout this upcoming sequence.
Entering Turn 2, try to position the car in the middle to the right-hand side of the track – it’s not crucial to sacrifice the exit of Turn 1 to widen this entry. Then, look for a small piece of grey kerbing on the outside and use this as your braking reference. It is not a hard braking zone, but rather just a dab on the brake pedal to avoid understeering wide on the exit.
Stay in second gear and find the apex early. Stick to the inside kerb as you progressively come back on the power. The exit only widens as the corner continues, so open up the steering as you get back on the power and let the car run on its natural trajectory. The runoff area can be used but keep at least two wheels within the white line.
Heading downhill into Turn 3, spot your braking marker on the left-hand side of the track. It is about five metres before the green runoff area turns back to the grey matting.
Before you start applying the brakes, position the car to face towards the apex. Depending on your car, first or second gear is best when you reach it: first gear will offer greater initial rotation than second gear, but you may struggle to get back on the power smoothly which you’ll need to do to set up Turn 4.
Braking into Turn 3, aim to get your inside wheels just inside of the red and white kerbing because it will massively help with rotation and will pull the car around the corner. Keep on that tight line and don’t get eager on the throttle.
You just want to keep a constant amount of throttle to keep your momentum up so that you can open up the entry of Turn 4.
A short sharp right-hand turn that ends the Mercedes Arena sequence, a good exit from Turn 4 is vital as you head down a short straight and into Turn 5 and Turn 6.
Coming out of Turn 3, you’ll be on the left-hand side on the track. Lift slightly off the power just as you want to turn in to Turn 4 because the aim is to flick the car in as early as you can and short-shift up to second gear if you used first in Turn 3.
If the car responds to your steering input and there’s no understeer then immediately start getting back to full throttle. Aim to attack the kerbing and grey matted area on the inside of the track.
As you exit the corner, open up the steering but be aware of any oversteer as the car will be fighting for traction. Use all the road, including the runoff; if you keep two wheels inside the white line you won’t exceed track limits.
Turn 5 and 6 (Valvoline Kurve and Ford Kurve)
This section of the track consists of a downhill left hand-sweep which leads into a tighter, lower-speed right-hander. Both corners have a slight amount of banking which helps produce extra grip.
Heading into Turn 5, stay on the right and look out for the runoff road that’s used for the endurance layout of the circuit. Start braking just before the end of the road where it turns back into kerbing, shift down to third gear and turn in while braking. You’ll be aiming to reach the inside kerb at its halfway point of the corner.
Come close to the kerb but do not ride it as it will unsettle the car. Keep tight to the inside and use the banking to carry the extra momentum. As you reach the apex, get back on the throttle to give you a boost into the next corner but aim your car left to open up Turn 6.
Your braking point for the Ford Kurve is where the kerb on the outside ends. Change down to second gear, and again, use the banking of the corner to carry extra speed into the apex. Come close to the inside kerb but don’t ride it.
Get on the power nice and early and use the compression to launch you out onto the exit kerb. Using your throttle pedal too aggressively here will cause understeer wide though, whilst taking the apex too early will see your exit become too tight.
Turn 7 (Dunlop Kehre)
Turn 7 is a downhill entry right-hand hairpin that then leads back up the hill towards the Schumacher esses. It’s very easy to misjudge your braking here as there is no real reference point.
Approaching the corner, stay firmly to the left. Your braking point will be difficult to spot, but you want to start decelerating between where the grey patch of road appears and where the entry kerb of the corner begins.
When braking, angle the car towards the corner and trail brake all the way in to hit an early, first apex. Shift down to second gear and let the car run out slightly as you come off the brakes and coast.
Once the car is settled and you have the car rotated, start to get back on the power. Be very progressive here to avoid any wheelspin and get close to the inside kerb once again. Use all of the available exit kerbing and green runoff.
Turn 8 and 9 (Michael Schumacher S)
A very tricky, high-speed left-right chicane, the Michael Schumacher S is all about getting your racing line correct and kerb usage spot on.
For Turn 8, the first part of the complex, you want to position your car over to the right-hand side and use the kerb on the entry to open up the corner.
Climb the outside kerb and lift off slightly as you turn in. If the car turns in with no issues, immediately get back to full throttle and keep your steering smooth. Aim to just kiss the apex kerb on the inside of the left-hand turn. If you climb this kerb you will find your car completely unsettled.
As you exit Turn 8, look ahead and aim to get your car over onto the green runoff on the inside of the right-hand Turn 9. You can run this kerb and stay on it until the exit, and then make sure to use the runoff area on the outside. Maximize road usage but remain smooth with all inputs to keep the car stable.
Turn 10 (Kumho Kurve)
Turn 10 is a slight uphill medium-speed left-hand turn. Using all of the available runoff areas at all stages in the corner will help you carry the most speed through this tricky turn.
When approaching the corner, position yourself over to the right-hand side of the track and look ahead for the braking point – the 100-metre board. Before you hit the brakes, make sure to move the car over onto the green strip on the right-hand side of the track which helps to open up the corner.
Shift down to third gear and carry your speed in, aim to cut the inside kerb and get your tyres over onto the green runoff as you get back on the throttle. Use the exit kerb if needed, but make sure you don’t run too wide as this will hurt your entry for Turn 11, which you’ll need to come back to the left-hand side of the track for.
Turn 11 (Bit Kurve)
A medium-speed downhill right-hand turn, you need to be tidy on the entry and exit of Turn 11 to maximize the upcoming straight that offers a rare – and risky – overtaking spot.
Stay in third gear and lightly tap the brakes to scrub off a little bit of speed. Aim for the middle of the apex kerb without dipping your right-side wheels onto the inside grass and counter any oversteer as you turn in, which you will often find catching you out. Make sure to be smooth with your weight transfer to avoid over-rotating the car.
Get back on the power nice and early as you reach the apex and open the steering, letting the car run wide onto the exit kerb. It’s important you don’t dip a wheel into the gravel here as this will massively compromise your run into Turns 13 and 14.
Turn 13 and 14 (Veedol)
Following Turn 12 – an easily flat-out right-hand kink – is Veedol, a fast left into right chicane that requires precision and commitment over the kerbs.
Heading into Turn 13, stay right. Brake between the 100-metre and 50-metre board and shift down to third gear. Turn in early to cut the inside kerb, then get back on the power before the first apex to pull the front end through the corner. Avoid hitting the concrete block on top of the kerb on the left-hand section which will unsettle the car.
Once you have changed direction and you are facing the right-hand Turn 14, aim to smash the inside kerb so long as you aren’t running very low ride height. Carry your speed through the apex and use the raised exit kerb on the left if needed as you head into the final corner.
Turn 15 (Coca Cola Kurve)
The final corner of the Nurburgring GP circuit is a slow right hand-turn taken in second gear. There aren’t any real braking markers for the Coca Cola Kurve, so you have to practice judging at what point between your car and the apex it is ideal to begin your deceleration.
Aim to use second gear at the apex, but downshift late into the corner as doing so too quickly will unsettle the rear of the car. Stay nice and close to the inside kerb and pit wall, hugging the white line as the turn progresses.
Slowly start to build up more throttle, and as the exit widens, open the steering and aim for the exit kerb and run-off area. The key here is to be smooth on the power to avoid any Traction Control intervention or oversteer, setting up the best possible run to the finish line.