Mark Webber isn't the only one who dislikes the current incarnation of the Hockenheimring

While he might lay claim to having some momentum as this season’s most recent race-winner, Mark Webber is not looking forward to this weekend’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

The Australian’s best finish at the venue came in 2004 when he finished sixth with Jaguar, and he admitted that his mind freely wandered back to memories of the older, longer circuit layout that the sport ran on until 2001.

Pre-2002, the circuit was vastly different from the 2.8-mile autodrome that today’s F1 fans are familiar with. It used to be a flat-out blast through the pine forests, with long straights punctuated by heavy-braking chicanes over a length of 4.2 miles. For many years, it was the second-longest circuit on the F1 calendar.

Under pressure from series officials and Bernie Ecclestone to improve the show for the local fans, circuit designer Hermann Tilke was brought in to shorten butcher the track.

The end result was the ‘new’ Hockenheim, a circuit Webber describes as “not that thrilling to drive and not even that technical,” on his official website.

The old Hockenheim circuit has now been taken over by the surrounding forest
The old Hockenheim circuit has now been taken over by the surrounding forest

“I much prefer the Nürburgring,” he wrote. “The old Hockenheim was a really cracking circuit; it was a flat-out blast through the forest and every time I brake for Turn 2 on the new track I wish we continued in a straight line, on the route of the old circuit.”

And he’s undoubtedly not the only one to feel this way.

Which version of the Hockenheim circuit do you prefer and why? Post your comments below…

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.