Ricciardo says ‘no thank you’ to the Nordschleife

Date published: October 18 2020

Daniel Ricciardo PA

There’s no doubt that the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife is an icon of motor racing, but Daniel Ricciardo has no intention of competing on it.

Nicknamed “The Green Hell” by Sir Jackie Stewart, the infamous Nordschleife circuit hosted various German GPs throughout the history of Formula 1 between 1950-1976.

It was ultimately dropped from the calendar due to safety concerns, though the current 12.93-mile Nordschleife track, consisting of 154 turns, remains arguably the most famous circuit in the world.

While it’s regularly used for endurance racing such as the 24 hours of the Nürburgring, which combines the Grand Prix circuit and the Nordschleife, the track is also used regularly for car testing and promotional content.

And Ricciardo got the chance to sample it in a Renault Megane RS at the Eifel Grand Prix during the filming of a team movie.

And it’s safe to say Ricciardo won’t be signing himself up for the 24 hours of the Nürburgring any time soon.

“I’m a bit shocked, let’s put it that way,” he told Motorsport.com.

“We finished the race with the team on Thursday night and it was pretty slippery. I don’t know the track from games or anything, so I don’t know the track by heart.

“But I had a moment in the first 500 meters and that set the tone for the next 22 kilometers. I was pretty timid afterwards. It’s a fun and beautiful circuit, but would I race there for 24 hours with 180 other cars on the track? No thank you! I’m good where I am.”

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Ricciardo’s trepidation though was understandable after he revealed a crash that he had on the Nordschleife back in 2008 which nearly put him in the barriers.

“In 2008 I went on the track in my own car, that was a Fiat Punto,” he explained.

“Believe it or not, but even in the Fiat I managed to get off the track! It was a blind left turn. The bend was getting sharper and I wasn’t prepared for that. I then steered off the track, flew over the kerbs and through the grass. Luckily I stayed out of the guardrails. But it’s a great circuit.

“A Formula One race there is unrealistic, but for other cars it’s brilliant. It is really narrow and old school with different types of asphalt and pieces that have been rebuilt. The Karussell is also iconic.”

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