Like nostalgia, the Nurburgring sure ain't what it used to be. Where once its daunting Nordschleife annually filled even the most fearless Formula 1 drivers with utter dread until it was removed from the calendar in the wake of Niki Lauda's well-documented 1976 inferno, the 'Newburgring' now stages Germany's Grosse Preis on odd years - with Hockenheim hosting the evens.
This agreement was signed in 2007, but became effective in 2009, with the first race under the five-race (each) deal being hosted by Nurburgring GmbH (NG) - a company 90 per cent owned by the Rhine Palatinate, with the remaining shares held by Kreis Ahrweiler, the district within which the Eifel circuit falls that year.
A race had been staged in 2007, but as the European Grand Prix because Hockenheim still held the sole rights to the 'German' moniker, but sat out the season, while in 2008 Valencia hosted the European version and Hockenheim its final exclusive German Grand Prix.
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken