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THE CIRCUIT

     

Length: 4.574 km
Opened: 1932
F3 lap record: 1m32.599s (Felix Rosenqvist, 2011)
Circuit map: click here
Geographic position: click here

Hockenheim is one of the most classic and frequently used racing circuits in the world. While remaining very much in the international spotlight as host of the Formula 1 German Grand Prix - a race it alternates with the Nürburgring - the history of the track can be traced back a full 80 years. Hockenheim's true roots were established in 1938, however, when an eight-kilometre, ultra-fast layout gave the circuit its flat-out, high-speed nature that would remain a Hockenheim trademark for more than 60 years.

The track was modernised in 2002, drastically reducing the length of the lap as the massive forest straights were replaced by a more spectator-friendly infield. The "new" Hockenheim initially received mixed reactions, but now - ten years on - it has established itself as a highly challenging venue that places tough demands on a driver's all-round capabilities.

The famous stadium complex - the "Motodrom" - at the end of the lap is an almost religious site for hundreds and thousands of motorsport fans each season, and makes Hockenheim the ideal place to kick off the new campaign. This weekend's races also mark the DTM season-opener, and grandstands are expected to be absolutely packed.


Characteristics

One of Hockenheim's most exotic features is something as rare as a straight that actually bends. This pedal-to-the-metal left-hand sweep halfway around the lap - named the "Parabolica" - creates a real technical dilemma for engineers, with the rest of the track being made up of a mixture of slow, medium and high speed corners. The fine balance between potentially race-winning top speed at the end of the straight and sufficient grip in the other parts of the lap forces teams into a car set-up compromise, which often puts the driver in a difficult situation as he either struggles for straight-line speed or performance in the Motodrom.

Turn 1 is one of the fastest on the entire calendar, and is taken at well over 200 km/h. The exit consists of a wide tarmac run-off area (see middle picture above) that is sometimes used a bit too extensively by drivers, leading to penalties or even high-speed crashes.


Weather

The weather always tends to be rather unstable at Hockenheim in late April - as is the case throughout most of Europe. Forecasts for the weekend ahead, though, speak of beautiful summer-like conditions, with temperatures even expected to climb as high as 25 degrees Celsius on Saturday. Friday marks the highest probability of rain, although the risk for precipitation sits at a very moderate 20 per cent.

Click here for a detailed weather forecast


WEEKEND DATA

Felix's perspective

   

"I'm really looking forward to getting back to racing this weekend - we have been preparing ourselves for this moment all winter, and I can hardly wait until the opening practice session on Friday morning. Hockenheim is one of my favourite circuits and I have plenty of good memories from here. Turn 1 is a very challenging corner, and I think most drivers have somewhat of a love/hate relationship to it. I will never forget the feeling I had when I claimed my first Formula 3 Euro Series win at the Hockenheim finale last year, and I hope to experience that same emotion again this season. Having said that, I'm aware that competition will be extremely tough in 2012. On the back of the pace we had at the end of last season, however, our target has to be to fight for victories. I'm definitely ready to go racing and will give my utmost behind the wheel, and then we'll see where we end up."

   

HOCKENHEIM EXTRA

    Q&A: Find out what Felix has to say about his rivals, the new F3 car and more ahead of the premiere.
   

Time schedule

Friday (27 April)
Free Practice: 10.35-12.20
Qualifying: 16.25-16.55 

Saturday (28 April)
Race 1: 11.15-11.55
Race 2: 16.45-17.05

Sunday (29 April)
Race 3: 11.15-11.55


How it works

This weekend's races count towards both Formula 3 Euro Series and the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. The exception is Race 2, which only counts towards Formula 3 Euro Series.

The grid for the first race of the meeting is based on each driver's second-fastest lap time in Friday qualifying, with the outright fastest times setting up the grid for Race 3. Both Race 1 and Race 3 are run over approx. 40 minutes, and utilise the same points structure as Formula 1 with 25 points on offer for the winner. This applies to both Formula 3 Euro Series and the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.

Race 2 is a so-called "sprint" event, contested over approx. 20 minutes. The grid is formed by reversing the top eight finishers from Race 1, with the winner starting from eighth, the runner-up from seventh etc. The artificial elements of Race 2 - combined with the shorter race distance - mean that fewer points are up for grabs (10 for the winner) than in Race 1 and Race 3.

The full 2012 calendar and points system can be viewed here.


Preliminary entry list

No.     Name       Nat.         Team         Engine 
1     Daniel Juncadella       ESP         Prema Powerteam         Mercedes-Benz
2     Sven Müller       GER         Prema Powerteam         Mercedes-Benz
5     Felix Rosenqvist       SWE         Mücke Motorsport         Mercedes-Benz
6     Pascal Wehrlein       GER         Mücke Motorsport         Mercedes-Benz
7     Sandro Zeller       SUI         Jo Zeller Racing         Mercedes-Benz
8     Andrea Roda       ITA         Jo Zeller Racing         Mercedes-Benz
9     Lucas Wolf       GER         URD Rennsport         Mercedes-Benz
10     Philip Ellis       GBR         GU-Racing         Mercedes-Benz
11     William Buller       GBR         Carlin         Volkswagen
12     Carlos Sainz Jr.       ESP         Carlin         Volkswagen
14     Michael Lewis       USA         Prema Powerteam         Mercedes-Benz
15     Raffaele Marciello       ITA         Prema Powerteam         Mercedes-Benz
16     Tom Blomqvist       GBR         ma-con Motorsport         Volkswagen
17     Emil Bernstorff       GBR         ma-con Motorsport         Volkswagen
23     Luis Sá Silva       ANG         Angola Racing Team         Mercedes-Benz
                         
    Guest drivers                      
    Felix Serralles       PUR         Fortec Motorsport         Mercedes-Benz
    Alex Lynn       GBR         Fortec Motorsport         Mercedes-Benz
    Hannes van Asseldonk       NED         Fortec Motorsport         Mercedes-Benz
    Harry Tincknell       GBR         Carlin         Volkswagen



HOW TO FOLLOW FELIX THIS WEEKEND

Website

As always, www.felixracing.se will be fully updated throughout the weekend, with reports from each of the sessions that take place. The website is the central information hub for everything that goes on both on and off the track, and will also feature other relevant news, pictures and videos.


TV

While the website will be every bit as up-to-date as in previous years, the Felix Racing live text commentary service will not be available in 2012. This is due to a hefty increase in media attention over the winter, which has resulted in several new and important TV deals. For the first time in the history of Formula 3 Euro Series, all races will be streamed LIVE at www.f3euroseries.com, meaning everyone with an internet connection will now be able to watch the action in real time. The live stream can also be accessed via banners on the start page at www.felixracing.se. This, and added TV coverage on the Swedish market, has led Felix Racing to adapt its own media service in order to provide the best possible and most extensive all-round solution. The interaction with fans and followers will remain a central part of the coverage, and will particularly involve Felix Racing's official Facebook Page (link below) where supporters can discuss all the goings-on and post potential questions to Felix.


Social media

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