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|(July 19, 2005) – This weekend's German Grand Prix will be the 53rd to count towards the world championship—and the seventh of Formula One's glut of eight mid-season races in the space of 11 weekends.
The race was first added to the calendar in 1951, when it took place over 20 laps of the classic, 22.722-kilometre (14.150-mile) Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Present host Hockenheim—famous for its vast, lively, spectator-filled stadium—staged its first world championship race in 1970 and became the German GP's regular home in 1977, after F1 abandoned the original Nürburgring on safety grounds.
The race has since been held elsewhere only once—in 1985, when it took place at the updated, shorter Nürburgring (nowadays the GP of Europe's customary base).
Hockenheim, which lies close to the cities of Mannheim and Heidelberg, underwent a radical change of its own in 2002, when the circuit's long, forest-lined straights were axed in favour of a more compact, 4.574-kilometre (2.842-mile) layout.
Since its introduction to the world championship, the German GP has only once been staged away from Hockenheim or the Nürburgring: in 1959 it took pla ce at Avus, near Berlin. Michelin has won the event three times—in 1984 (Alain Prost, McLaren TAG-Turbo), 2001 (Ralf Schumacher, BMW WilliamsF1 Team) and 2003 (Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team).
In last season's corresponding fixture, Jenson Button (B·A·R-Honda) was Michelin's highest finisher. He charged through the field to take second place after starting 13th.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director
"With a number of quick corners and its slower, slippery stadium section, Hockenheim is a track that tends to heat up rear tires fairly quickly—although the same is true of all high-speed circuits.
"This is something we have to keep a very close eye on—and it is quite hard to strike a good balance. The nature of the track and the high temperatures—always a factor in July—would take their toll on softer tires, so our partners focused on compounds from the middle sector of our range during pre-German Grand Prix tests.
"Since the beginning of the season, our tires have been competitive whatever the weather, warm or cool. This weekend, we hope our partner teams will once again have tires ideally suited to the conditions."
Team perspective: Pat Symonds, executive engineering director, Renault F1
"Hockenheim is what we think of as a 'rear-limited' circuit when we talk about tires. The revised layout has high grip levels and is composed almost exclusively of hard acceleration phases from slow- and medium-speed corners.
"This means traction from the rear of the car is at a premium and rear tire performance is critical. Furthermore, the track temperatures are always very high and we work hard to minimise the risk of blistering the rears.
"Michelin has provided excellent tires so far this year—including in the very hot conditions we encountered in Bahrain in April—and the company will arrive in Germany boosted by its first Silverstone victory since returning to F1. We expect our car/tire package to be extremely competitive at this circuit."