Track Data & Statistics
Lap Distance - 4.227 miles
Race Laps - 45
Fastest Lap - 1:28.242
1st Split - 19.8 - 19.9
2nd Split - 42.9 - 43.0
3rd Split - 1:02.9 - 1:03.0
Hockenheim - you either love it or hate it. Most hate it, including me. Probably the only place on the F1GP calendar that you will get to see your speedometer creep above 210mph, and most definitely the only place where you will consider setting your rear wing below 5. Straight-line speed is all important at Hockenheim, but the three chicanes are the key to your lap time, so you must balance this with grip. At 4.227 miles (6.802km) long, Hockenheim is second only to the wonderful Spa in terms of length, but the number of places where it can all go wrong and be so disastrous are matched by no other circuit.
The first time you drive at Hockenheim in F1GP, you think "what a nice circuit". You speed along the straights merrily, brake easily for the chicanes and trundle around the rest of the lap to complete your 1:37 lap time. Then one day, you suddenly realise there is more to this track. You see that 1:30 and under lap times are possible, and suddenly it doesn't seem quite so straight forward.
The key to a very fast lap time is taking the second chicane flat out. The second chicane - that is not Chicane 2, but the second chicane okay? For some reason the third chicane was cunningly named Chicane 2, don't ask me why - perhaps it was the same people who created the best-eleven-results- count rule that named this track. The first time you see the chicane, even attempting it looks ridiculous and suicidal, and in many cases it is. When "hotlapping" at Hockenheim, be prepared for a lot of disappointments at this corner as it can all too often go wrong as you fly off the curb and into the wall. However, once you get it right, your lap times should come down significantly.
Bombing down the start/finish straight flat out, don't lift off as you take the first right hander. Keeping your foot metaphorically firmly on the accelerator, edge to the far left of the track as the marker signs appear for Chicane 1. Slam on the brakes all the way through the corner down to about 75mph, just after the 100 board, and get straight back on the accelerator as you reach the exit. Check your speed does not drop below 70mph during this corner - if so you are losing time. We have an opportunity to collect our thought as we approach the make-or-break section of the track - the second chicane.
Once again edge to the far left off the track as the marker boards appear in the distance. Just after the 200 board swing right so that you are almost touching the 100 board as you reach the far right side of the track. Now steer left, aiming to point the car into the narrow entrance of the chicane, but making sure you don't clip the curb and launch yourself into the wall, while keeping the throttle full. As soon as you have negotiated the entrance successfully, swing right again and you should hear a squeal as the tyres fight to stay on the track. All well and good, you should end up pointed in the right direction, but don't be surprised if you finish up with a broken wing.
The first times you do this you will have to brake going into the chicane - if you don't have to you are either the next Michael Schumacher, or extremely skillfull and have more charisma than that of a chair leg.
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