Together with the French and Italian Grands Prix, the “Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Grosser Preis von Deutschland,” as it is officially called, numbers among the most traditional events on the racing calendar of motorsport’s top category. Ever since the inaugural race that was hosted by Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD) at Berlin’s Avus circuit in 1926, the German Rudolf Caracciola (D/Remagen) with six victories, one second and one third place, plus two fastest laps, has been able to maintain the top spot on the list of the most successful drivers to date, ahead of his compatriot Michael Schumacher (D/Kerpen) and Ayrton Senna (BRA/São Paulo).
Lewis Hamilton (GB/Stevenage), as the best-placed representative of the current generation of racing drivers, sits in 5th position and Sebastian Vettel (D/Heppenheim) in 23rd. As the best-placed driver without a race victory, the Scotsman David Coulthard (GB/Twynholm) is remarkably ranked in 20th position, three spots above Vettel.
By far the most successful manufacturer (incl. the engine) in the German Grand Prix has been Ferrari, followed by Mercedes and Ford. In the nations’ ranking, the United Kingdom stands on the top step of the podium, with Germany in 2nd and France in 3rd place. Whereas the drivers, teams, regulations and race tracks have repeatedly changed, Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD) has remained a fixture in the history of this internationally acclaimed event. Since 1926 AvD as the sporting organiser has been responsible for carrying out the requirements of the entire weekend. The magnitude of this effort is hard to recognise at first glance, so we have compiled some facts and figures as background information.
Facts and figures pertaining to the 2019 Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Grosser Preis von Deutschland:
- More than 500 people in various roles ensure safety and smooth operations during the race weekend of the German Grand Prix. They include:
- 354 track marshals (mostly from the immediate surroundings of the Hockenheimring), additional race control personnel, race physicians, medics, fire fighters, crews for two rescue helicopters, drivers for track sweepers and tow trucks, shuttle drivers, security staff, etc.
- All track marshals are provided with protective gear consisting of a helmet, suit and gloves.
- Race control is made up of a team of five experts with many years of experience.
- During the race weekend (Friday to Sunday) some 14,000 man-hours (incl. race breaks) are worked, which equates to one and a half man-years.
- 275 bags of binding agent to absorb oil and other types of spills are available trackside.
- 241 fire extinguishers – 226 six-kg extinguishers are available to the marshals around the track, plus plus 15 nine-kg fire extinguishers along the pit lane.
- 151 radios ensure optimum communications between race control, rescue squads and track marshals.
- 150 brooms are issued to the track marshals so that the track can be cleaned from dirt and debris as quickly as possible when needed.
- 64 marshal posts are manned to the left and right of the 4,508-metre track.
- 64 sets of flags of six flags each (2 x yellow, yellow and red, red, blue, green) along the track plus 1 race director’s flag set with 11 flags (2 x yellow, yellow and red, red, blue, green, black, black and white, black with red dot, black and white chequered, German flag) – totalling 395 single flags.
- In addition, a total of 65 ‘Safety Car’ signs are ready to be deployed along the track. By using these signalling devices, the track marshal help to ensure safe and fair racing.
- 64 fire hooks fastened to the tips of rods make it possible to externally activate the fire extinguishers inside the racing cars.
- 17 tractors ensure fast removal of crashed racing cars from the track.
- 9 sweepers ensure that even large areas of dirt on the race track are cleaned up quickly.
- 6 tow trucks return broken-down racing cars to the paddock.
- 6 additional crew vehicles complement the fleet of FIA track and safety cars.
- 2 fire engines are on stand-by around the clock.
- 2 e-unit vehicles as powerful special rescue vehicles are equipped with fire extinguishing systems, hydraulic cutters and spreaders, etc. and take their specially trained 2-member crews to the scene as quickly as possible. In addition, they are able to bind fluid spills on the way to the scene of an incident.
- 2 intensive care rescue helicopters, if necessary, make it possible to transport severely injured persons within a very short period of time while providing optimum on-board medical care.
2 refrigerator trucks store beverages for the track marshals – 7,600 bottles (= 3,800 litres) of water. During the day the marshals around the circuit are supplied with refrigerated beverages from mini buses whenever the track is not being used by racing cars.
Additional background information:
- The AvD equips all marshals with special gloves that also protect them against electrical injuries.
- The positions of the marshals around the track are not arbitrarily selected but conform to the track licence at 59 defined positions.
- The hospitals located within a 30-kilometre radius around the circuit are involved in the planning process for the race weekend from the very beginning.
- The respective access routes to the hospitals were coordinated before the race weekend between the AvD, the police and rescue services. All crews of the emergency ambulances have been provided with the respective maps ensuring quickest and unobstructed transport of patients.
- Long before the event all organisations involved in the German Grand Prix jointly developed detailed safety and security plans in order to be able to quickly and systematically respond to accidents and potential troublemakers.
AvD – mobility experts with a 120-year track record
As Germany’s automobile association with the longest tradition, AvD has been representing the interests of motorists since 1899. With its wide range of services such as worldwide roadside assistance, including its in-house emergency call centre, worldwide vehicle and travel protection, driver training programmes and attractive events, AvD supports the mobility of its members and promotes general traffic safety. The founding member of the International Automobile Federation FIA assists some 1.4 million members and customers personally and with individual attention to their needs in any area of mobility and stands for passion all around the automobile.
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