My Dad had a saying about “seeing how the other half live”. Of course, these days the politicians talk about how “the 1%” live. During my recent trip to Germany with my rally companion, Harald von Langsdorff, I got a brief look at how “the 1%” live at a Formula 1 race at the Nurburgring.
There are two tracks at the Nurburgring – a modern, spacious, safe Grand Prix track and the old, tight, less safe former Grand Prix track. This discussion focuses on the new Nurburgring track that emerged after the terrible accident involving Niki Lauda during the 1976 German Grand Prix while racing on the old Nurburgring track. After that accident the German Grand Prix was held at the Hockenheim race track. In 2007 an agreement was reached in which the German Grand Prix would alternate between the Hockenhiem track and the new Nurburgring track.
At the new Nurburgring track, Harald had made arrangements for us to stay for a night at the Dorint Hotel which is located right on the race track.
Entrance To The Dorint Hotel At Nurburgring (by the way Bitburger Pils is a very good beer)
The hotel is a modern building with all sorts of automotive themed decorations throughout the building. Particularly interesting is a small bar located on the main floor with photos and rally plates covering the walls.
One of the items that I noticed was an automotive toy made of discarded parts that sort of resembled a Grand Prix car. On the toy someone had affixed a Wolf Formula One decal. This brought back memories of Canadian Walter Wolf’s brief fling with Formula One team ownership in the 1970s. The Wolf Formula One Team managed to win the first race it ever entered when Jody Schecter won the 1977 Argentina Grand Prix!
Anyone Remember the Wolf Formula One Team?
Our hotel room had a nice balcony with a great view of the Nurburgring race track. Our room was along the portion of the track where the cars would be gridded. Below are some views from our hotel room.
Our View of the Start/Finish Area From the Hotel Room Balcony
Our View of the Coca Cola Kurve with the old Nurburgring Track and Nurburg Castle in the Background
As you can see, the balcony our hotel room would be great place to watch the German Grand Prix at Nurburgring. In many ways, it reminded me of a “skybox” that I once had the opportunity of being in at the Sky Dome in Toronto watching a baseball game. Within the room, there was a television system that presented a view from about four cameras that are positioned around the track.
In-Room Television Allows Viewing from Cameras Around the Nurburgring Track
We don’t know how much the hotel would charge for this room during the German Grand Prix weekend, but we are sure that it would be huge. It appears that access to the hotel can be controlled, so we suspected that even if you had rented a hotel room, then you would still have to buy the appropriate track pass. This would prevent someone from renting the hotel room and then inviting 20 of his closest friends up to his room for a visit during the race.
While we were at the hotel at the Nurburgring track during a normal day, it was interesting to see the view of the track that would be seen during the German Grand Prix by the “1%”.