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Constructed in 1932, Hockenheimring was originally designed to be a test track for Mercedes cars in preparation for the Tripoli Grand Prix. After some track modifications from the original 12km Triangular Track, or 'Dreieckskurs', in the 1960s, the first F1 race was held in 1970. It featured a dramatic finish, as Jochen Rindt drove his Lotus home, a nose in front of Jacky Ickx's Ferrari. However, the circuit lacked character; it was basically a high-speed race through the forest, interrupted slightly by three chicanes, and was very hard on engines.
The race returned to Hockenheim in 1977, in response to the drivers not wishing to race at the Nurburgring, following Niki Lauder's near fatal accident in 1976. Lauder, ironically enough, won the 1977 race.
The track was modified after the 2001 event, which was won by Michael Schumacher and the overall length was drastically reduced. For 2002, the circuit's 70th anniversary, there was a new look and a new name, the "Hockenheimring Baden Wurttemberg". The popular long straights through the woods are now gone with new parts taking their place. Where the circuit once went into the woods there is now a sharp right turn into the extremely long high speed "Parabolika" left turn. The result is a hairpin to be driven with maximum steering in first gear. After this huge corner there is now a right-left-right-again turning into the famous Motodrom with the unique stadium atmosphere. To compensate for the shorter course, the number of laps increased from 45 to 67. Michael Schumacher was once again the winner, thrilling his home fans once more.