Vettel braced to shiver at ‘German Siberia’

Jon Wilde
Sebastian Vettel (left) and Bernie Ecclestone at a ski race in Austria

Sebastian Vettel (left) and Bernie Ecclestone at a ski race in Austria

Sebastian Vettel will have his overcoat and woolly hat at the ready for the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in October.

The four-time former world champion fears he and the rest of the F1 family may be shivering during the race weekend at a circuit known as ‘German Siberia’.

Nurburgring, along with Portimao, Mugello and Imola, have been added to this year’s schedule to bolster the number of races due to the cancellation of several outside Europe because of the global health pandemic.

F1 is more used to balmy temperatures but on October 11, Vettel thinks the mercury could be heading down towards freezing point amid a particularly unpredictable local climate.

Average temperatures around that time of year are 10 degrees centigrade at the Nurburgring, which last staged an F1 race in 2013 – won by Vettel for Red Bull.

Joking that it’s “called German Siberia for a reason”, Vettel expects the weather to play a significant part.

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“We can expect anything,” said Vettel, who will be making a final appearance in his home country as a Ferrari driver, quoted by

“We can expect if we are lucky 20 degrees but it could also be close to zero, so it will be a challenge nevertheless.

“I think it’s a great track and I have good memories. Last time we were there I won, so I’m looking forward to going back.

“It’s a really interesting and nice track to drive and with these cars especially it should be a lot of fun.

“I think the weather will play a role. It would be a surprise if it didn’t.”

McLaren F1 team principal Andreas Seidl, meanwhile, also has significant experience of the Nurburgring through his racing career, most recently overseeing Porsche’s 1-2 finish at the World Endurance Championship event in 2017.

“I did a lot of racing there in my racing life in various categories,” said Seidl.

“We see GT racing from March onwards in heavy snow, fog and so on. It will be interesting how it goes, especially that late in the year.

“But obviously looking forward, I’m very happy that we have a race in Germany again. I like the track, I like the country, I like the people there, I like the food, so I’m looking forward to that.

“It’s still not the Nordschleife but I’m looking forward to it.”

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