Formula 1 may be about to contest the first Eifel Grand Prix, but it will be a familiar host in the form of the Nurburgring.
Formula 1 has bathed in the late summer sunshine of Europe in recent months, but a change is coming.
The Nurburgring will return to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 2013 with chilly conditions, and perhaps a bit of rain to provide the teams and drivers with a very unfamiliar challenge.
Of the current names on the grid only Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have won a Formula 1 race at the Nurburgring, and Hamilton returns looking to reassert his dominance after his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas won the Russian Grand Prix, benefiting from two controversial five-second penalties for Hamilton.
44 points is the gap between Hamilton and Bottas, but Hamilton or Mercedes can’t afford any further rule breaking in the battle for the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix…
When is the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix?
The start times for the Eifel Grand Prix are as follows:
Practice 1: Friday October 9, 1100-1230 local time (1000-1130 BST)
Practice 2: Friday October 9, 1500-1630 local time (1400-1530 BST)
Practice 3: Saturday October 10, 1200-1300 local time (1100-1200 BST)
Qualifying: Saturday October 10, 1500 local time (1400 BST)
Race: Sunday October 11, 1410 local time (1310 BST)
Where does the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix take place?
The Nurburgring has played host to the German, European and Luxembourg Grand Prix before, but for 2020 it will return with a new identity of the Eifel Grand Prix, taking its name from the nearby mountain range.
Based in the town of Nurburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, the Nurburgring has a rich history in Formula 1 having first hosted a Grands Prix on its current layout in 2002.
But this track, now 3.199-miles long and consisting of 15 turns, has been tamed from the wild beast that it once was.
After World War II the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring again became the main venue for the German Grand Prix as part of the Formula One World Championship until 1970, though its more iconic name of “The Green Hell” was assigned by Jackie Stewart after he won the 1968 German Grand Prix whilst fog and heavy rain plagued the race.
But in 1970, after the fatal crash of Piers Courage at Zandvoort, drivers decided to boycott the Nürburgring unless major safety improvements were made.
This didn’t happen, and the German Grand Prix moved to the Hockenheimring.
In 1971 Formula 1 returned to the modified Nordschleife circuit but by 1984 Formula 1 started racing on the newly-built GP-Strecke layout at the Nurburgring.
It was built with the highest possible standards of safety in mind, but the fans felt it was merely a shadow of the Nordschleife.
Ferrari have enjoyed great success on the Nurburgring GP-Strecke circuit, winning five of the nine European GPs held on it between 1999-2007.
Directions: How can I get to the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix?
The closest airport is Cologne’s Bonn (although Frankfurt is usually considered the closest international airport).
Cologne Bonn is roughly an hour and ten minutes from Nürburg. Frankfurt is around an hour and a half to two hours depending on traffic.
The Nurburgring is a bit too out of the way for rail access, Ahrbrück is the closest station 24km away, so driving to the circuit is the best option.
If you’re driving to the Nurburgring then the E40, the longest European route at almost 5,000 miles long, will take you to the circuit.
Where can I watch the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix on TV?
Pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports will show the entire race weekend on its dedicated Sky Sports F1 channel. You can also access a live stream of the coverage via Now TV.
Free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4 will show extended highlights from qualifying and the race.
Subscribers to F1’s own app can hear radio commentary on the race proper from the BBC and access live data throughout every session.
PlanetF1 will carry live timing and expert commentary on every session of the race weekend, from FP1 on Friday morning to the race on Sunday afternoon.
The Eifel Grand Prix will be shown live on TV on the following outlets in other key markets:
United States: ESPN
Canada: RDS (French), TSN (English)
Australia: Fox Sports, One (Network Ten)
France: Canal + (pay TV) and TF1 (free-to-air)
Italy: Sky Italia, TV8
Germany: RTL and Sky Deutschland
Spain: Movistar F1
What are the odds for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix?
Latest bookmaker information shows that Lewis Hamilton, as expected, is overwhelming favourite to claim victory at the Eifel Grand Prix.
The bookies expect Hamilton to stretch his 44-point lead in the Championship with only team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen having any realistic chance of spoiling the Briton’s plans.
Here are the leading odds from bet365:
1/1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
6/4 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
4/1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
50/1 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
50/1 Alex Albon (Red Bull)
50/1 Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
(Last updated Saturday October 10)
What is the weather forecast for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix?
Friday, October 9: 15c, cloudy
Saturday, October 10: 15c, rain showers
Sunday, October 11: 16c, drizzle
Which drivers have won the Eifel Grand Prix?
The 2020 Eifel Grand Prix will be the first in Formula 1’s history, though the Nurburgring’s GP-Strecke circuit is a familiar track in the world of Formula 1.
Of the current drivers only Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have been victorious here, with Hamilton winning for McLaren in 2011 and Vettel with Red Bull in 2013.
Ferrari are the most successful team at this venue with six race wins, five of those recorded by Michael Schumacher who is the most successful driver of all time around the GP-Strecke, though Mercedes will be looking to get themselves on the board with victory at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix.
The last 10 winners at the Nurburgring are as follows:
2013 – Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2011 – Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
2009 – Mark Webber, Red Bull
2007 – Fernando Alonso, McLaren
2006 – Michael Schumacher, Ferrari
2005 – Fernando Alonso, Renault
2004 – Michael Schumacher, Ferrari
2003 – Ralf Schumacher, Williams
2002 – Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari
2001 – Michael Schumacher, Ferrari
What is the starting grid for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix?
Just one practice session at a new track…but same old result as Mercedes keep up their run of bagging every pole position so far this season.
But it was Valtteri Bottas who got ahead of Lewis Hamilton, while Charles Leclerc did a brilliant job to split the two Red Bulls in P4.
Nico Hulkenberg, back for his latest F1 return covering for the ill Lance Stroll, will start from P20.
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
5 Alex Albon Red Bull
6 Daniel Ricciardo Renault
7 Esteban Ocon Renault
8 Lando Norris McLaren
9 Sergio Perez Racing Point
10 Carlos Sainz McLaren
11 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri
13 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas
16 Romain Grosjean Haas
17 George Russell Williams
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams
19 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing
20 Nico Hulkenberg Racing Point
What are the latest F1 Championship standings?
The Eifel Grand Prix marks round 11 of 17 in the 2020 World Championship, so here is how the fights for the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships are looking:
Lewis Hamilton – 205 points
Valtteri Bottas – 161 points
Max Verstappen – 128 points
Lando Norris – 65 points
Alex Albon – 64 points
Mercedes – 366 points
Red Bull – 192 points
McLaren – 106 points
Tyre choices for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) September 9, 2020
Pirelli are erring on the side of caution with their tyre choices for the demanding Nurburgring and have settled in the middle of their range for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix.
That means the C2s will the the hard tyre, the C3s the medium and the soft rubber will be the C4 compound.
Pirelli’s tyres range from C1 to C5 with the compounds getting softer and grippier as the number increases, but crucially less durable.