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Felix on Oschersleben: corner by corner

This weekend sees the final round of the ATS Formula 3 Cup championship season take place at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, some 200 km away from Berlin. Opened in 1997, the venue hosts several international top-class events each year - including the WTCC and DTM series. Exclusively at www.felixracing.se, here is your chance to learn more about the 3.696 km circuit, as we join Felix for a lap in anticipation of the on-track showdown action...



TURN 1

         

TURN 2 (HOTELKURVE)

 
               

The first corner is always critical as far as the start is concerned, but a bumpy braking zone complicates things even further at Oschersleben. The kerb on the inside is extremely aggressive, so the key is to stay away from the sharp edges while still using it enough not to lose any time.
GEAR: 2

         

A very frustrating, long corner which never seems to end. You always want to apply the throttle too soon here, which will only cost you time either through understeering or through a big slide. This is a corner that invites you to try several different lines - but only one is right.
GEAR: 3

 
               
               

TURN 3 (HASSERÖDER KURVE)

         

TURN 4 (TRIPLE)

 
               
A fairly simple corner. Here, the major challenge is the banking, which makes it possible for you to carry a lot of speed on entry. It's important to focus on the exit and try to hit the apex as late as possible in order to maintain speed on the following straight.
GEAR: 3
          The so-called "triple left" - the fastest corner on the circuit. Turn 4 is actually made up of three apexes, and we go flat out through the first two before braking for Turn 5. Speed never drops below 200 km/h and this is the scene of some of the season's highest g-force readings.
GEAR: 5
 
               
               

TURN 5

         

TURN 6

 
               
Oschersleben may be a technical circuit in general - but personally, I find this the most underestimated and difficult corner of them all. You need a very special technique to brake correctly on the approach to the corner, as you put one pair of tyres on the kerbs and simultaneously have to go down two gears, making the car incredibly unstable. Once you've got the braking right, I usually prefer to make Turn 5 a double apex feature. Furthermore, as the exit is half blind, it's difficult to know when to accelerate.
GEAR: 3
          A quick chicane which demands considerable dedication and risk management. To be fast here, you really need to ride the kerbs aggressively, prompting the chassis to bounce all over the circuit and making it easy to lose control of the car. If you find the limit here, there is definitely time to be gained - but the risk of spinning is quite high if you push too hard. In Formula 3, we go flat out through the right-hander and ease off on the second kerb.
GEAR: 4

    
 
               
               

TURN 7 (AMMANN KURVE)

         

TURN 8 (MIBAU SCHIKANE)

 
               
Turn 7 follows immediately after Turn 6, and could almost be said to be a part of the preceding chicane. It's important to carry a lot of speed onto the back straight, which means that you sometimes have to sacrifice your line in Turn 6 in order to be able to position the car pointing slightly more to the right on the entry to this corner.
GEAR: 4


          Another fast section of the lap offering a number of different racing lines. You can opt for a quick entry in the first part of the corner (a sharp yet wide right-hander) and lose some time on the exit (which swings the circuit back left), or you can go for a more careful approach on the way in and optimise late-corner precision. The exit here is very dangerous due to the outside kerb - which we hit at 160 km/h - being surrounded by a deep gravel trap which will most likely throw you into the wall if exploited.
GEAR: 5
 
               
               

TURN 9 (BAUER KURVE)

         

TURN 10 (ZEPPELIN KURVE)

 
               
Nothing for the cautious; Turn 9 is all about commitment. The speed is about 200 km/h here, and once you've chosen your line on the entry there is no room for change. It is very easy to just run out of asphalt on the exit - as I experienced myself this winter when I tried to go flat out and spun at high speed. My back hurt for weeks afterwards. Turn 9 is also exceptionally wind-sensitive, and depending on which way the wind blows, you can find yourself go through here without even the slightest lift on the throttle on one lap only to be forced to brake when you come around the next time.  
GEAR: 5
          The final corner of the circuit is also one of the real keys to a good lap time - not because of the time you can gain, but more due to how much you can lose if you get it wrong. This section is particularly important in qualifying, as you walk on the fine line of what the car is capable of and run the risk of letting your resolve take command over your brain just as the lap is about to be put together. Exit speed is vital to position yourself well going down the start-finish straight and into Turn 1, the only realistic overtaking opportunity here at Oschersleben.
GEAR: 3
 

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL MAP OF THE OSCHERSLEBEN CIRCUIT

 
 
 

 
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