It would be fair to say Alex Albon fell in love with the Nordschleife when he raced there in DTM last year.
So much so that not only has he thought about buying a house there, he also thinks the legendary circuit could be suitable for Formula 1 in the future.
The Nordschleife is the iconic German track nicknamed ‘The Green Hell’, a 13-mile circuit on which Niki Lauda suffered a near-fatal accident in 1976.
It is adjacent to the Nurburgring, a more conventional track which staged an F1 grand prix as recently as 2020 during a season when the schedule had to be much changed due to the pandemic.
In 2021, having been dropped from a race seat by Red Bull, Albon kept his eye in racing-wise by taking part in the DTM Series, driving a Ferrari touring car entered by the AlphaTauri team, before bagging a place back on the F1 grid with Williams for this year.
The London-born driver gained his only win in 16 races at the Nurburgring on the officially-named sprint circuit, but he and Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson also got the opportunity to try out the Nordschleife.
Asked during an interview with Auto Motor und Sport about the DTM venue that had stood out to him, Albon said: “The Lausitzring was really super-cool, we drove the oval version.
“I already knew some of the other tracks from my junior days. The best was the Nordschleife. We drove the grand prix circuit in DTM, but Liam [Lawson] and I spent every available minute on the Nordschleife.
“We initially banged around in rental cars. I had a Citroën C3, he had a Volkswagen Polo. At some point Red Bull gave us two Porsche GT3 RSs. That was really brilliant. I could hardly believe how much fun it was.
“Liam and I have even considered buying a house near the Nordschleife so we can drive our own cars every day.”
But what about F1 back on the Nordschleife for the first time since that infamous day in August 1976?
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said the circuit would be “much too dangerous” as it is now, although it was reported last winter that a spokesman for the Nurburgring operators had said they would “never completely reject the idea” of F1 back on the Nordschleife.
Albon would agree.
“It would be perfect,” said the 26-year-old. “Of course, we would need hard tyres that don’t overheat so quickly.
“But otherwise it wouldn’t be so complicated, I think.
“We would have to think about something for the Carousel. And then DRS on the whole long straight, please.”