Grand Prix

Grand Prix

There’s a certain feeling taking over Melbournians this time of year, as the people of this great city start to imagine checkered flags flying, the smell of burning rubber and the mighty roar of powerful engines.

Well imagine no more as the Australian Grand Prix is finally upon us!

That’s right – Albert Park will once again be hosting The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and there’s only one place (unless you are lucky enough to get tickets) to watch all the burning rubber action: Hophaus! But we will get to that…

The Beautiful History

To understand anything, as always, we go back to the beginning – celebrating all things Barvarian, it’s great to remember that Germany have been one of the most respected Grand Prix contenders since the first international meet in 1906. Tracks started popping up through out Europe including Belgium, England, Italy, Spain and of course, Germany.

Map of the Nürburgring

Map of the Nürburgring

The first Grand Prix in Germany took place just outside Berlin at Automobil Verkehrs und Übungs-Straße (AVUS) in 1926 but moved the following year to the Nürburgring, a track in which famous Scottish racer Sir Jackie Stewart referred to as “The Green Hell”.  Many racers disliked this track due to its harsh demand from the hairpin bends and 300-metre elevations. The stigma that racing is dangerous was born in this time as drivers would push not only their cars, but their bodies to breaking point. Back then the rules weren’t exactly set in stone, OH&S didn’t exist and there were many fatal incidents before proper rules were established.

The Nürburgring, circa 1960s

The Nürburgring, circa 1960s

Now the diehard fans will know that the German Grand Prix will be at Hockenheimring on July 22nd but there is a lot of history to this track which has turned good racers into legends. The first F1 race on the Hockenheimring circuit was held in 1970. It featured a dramatic finish, one of the closest to date, as Jochen Rindt crossed the line in his Lotus only a nose in front Jacky Ickx’s Ferrari. Despite being a great race, drivers and spectators felt the course lacked character, it was a high speed race through the forest with only three chicanes to break it up and was far too tough on the engines. The race did not return to Hockenheim until 1977 and the only reason it did so is because no driver wanted to race at Nurburgring following the near fatal crash of the famous Niki Lauder in 1976. Lauder came back strong though and actually won the 1977 world championship. He will always be regarded as one of the greatest and a warrior of the sport.

Map of the Nürburgring

Hockenheimring, 1970

The course was then changed in 2001 and had a grand re opening as “Hockenheimring Baden Wurttemberg” in 2002. The length of the course was drastically reduced so they upped the number of laps from 45 to 67. Michael Schumacher (who had won in 2001) returned to the course and there was a lot of talk on how a shorter track would affect him, but he performed as we all know he can and took him the gold. This win really propelled him into a racing legend.

Map of the Nürburgring

Michael Schumacher wins at Hockenheimring, 2002

Hockenheimring to Albert Park Lake: Melbourne GP 2018

Luckily we dont have to wait until July for some action though as the Melbourne Grand Prix kicks off on the 22nd of March at Albert Park Lake. Fans will be in for a treat as for the first time ever at the Melbourne GP there will be a SUPERCAR RACE – that’s right a super car race for championship points. History will be made in Melbourne with this race. It is truly astonishing how far this sport has come and how global an event it has come to be.

Map of the Nürburgring

Melbourne Grand Prix

TRACKSIDE IS A PRETTY SAFE DEAL THESE DAYS (EXCEPT MAYBE ON THE EARDRUMS). BUT NOTHING BEATS A LITTLE EXTRA COMFORT, SO WHY NOT MAKE THIS YEARS’ GRAND PRIX A TRULY VERITABLE FEAST…

Between March 22nd qualifiers and the big race on the 25th, we invite you to take a few pit-stops with us here at Hophaus to fuel that belly mid-lap with delicious rounds of crisp German brew (my beer of choice would be the Weihenstephaner Vitus, nothing better), and all the finest Bavarian fare in the land. We’ll be screening all the F1 action daily on the in-house big screen, with our Southbank HQ just a k or two away from the screeching, roaring action. Nico Hülkenberg will come up against his old team mate Sebastian Vettel but we love an underdog, so in support we are releasing a special Hülken-burger and Bitburger for only $20! If that’s not your thing our full menu will be available all day so come and grab a bratwurst and a cold one.

STRAP ON YOUR RACING COLOURS AND GET ON DOWN TO HOPHAUS!

Prost! See you then!

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