This will be far from Schumacher's first go with the Nürburgring: In 2011 he drove a classic Silver Arrow Stromlinie W196 (pictured above) for a demo lap around the Grand Prix track, and in 2007 he infamously punted a Ferrari prototype on the Nordschleife.
There's no word from Mercedes as to how exactly Schumacher will drive for his 'Ring run this time. Heidfeld's lap was slowed massively by his car wearing hard, demonstration tires and for slow-downs to film the event. We have every expectation that Schumi will be subject to the same demands of safety and public relations.
Of course, having the all-time fastest lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in your CV is something that we'd guess might tempt the über-competitive driver, and he'll certainly have the car to make that happen. Stefan Bellof holds the record for the fastest-ever lap of the 'Ring in its current configuration and length, with a time of 6:25.91 in 1983, at the wheel of a Porsche 956. (Niki Luada has the record at the original length, with a lap of 6:58.6 in 1975, in a Ferrari 312T.) Pundits analyzed the fast bits of Heidfeld's 2007 run, and figured his full-pace time, on admittedly unsticky tires, would have clocked in at around 6:12.
Again, we're not suggesting that Schumacher will have the green light to drive at full speed, but it does sound as though the now one-year retired driver is amped for the opportunity. Said Schumacher, "Posting a lap in a modern Silver Arrow on the most beautiful and most testing circuit in the world, what a brilliant mix – it's every motor racing driver's dream!" We'll keep our fingers crossed on May 19, and hope that the lap is a hot one.
Stuttgart, Apr 25, 2013
- Formula 1 record-breaking world champion Michael Schumacher will take to the track in the run-up to the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring on 19th May
- A big 'thank you' to loyal German fans
- First outing for a modern Formula 1 Silver Arrow at the Nürburgring Nordschleife since Juan Manuel Fangio's victory in 1954
On Sunday 19th May 2013 before the start of the 24-hour race around the Nürburgring, seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher will take to the track. Schumacher will post a demonstration lap on the Nürburgring's legendary Nordschleife in a MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W02 to say 'thank you' to his fans for their years of loyal support during his F1 career. This will be the first time since Juan Manuel Fangio's victory on 1st August 1954 that a modern Formula 1 Silver Arrow has driven on the Nordschleife at the Nürburgring.
Schumacher covered part of the Nordschleife in the last Formula 1 grand prix at the Nürburgring in July 2011, however, that was in a Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow Stromlinie W196. The W196 was the first Formula 1 Silver Arrow that took Mercedes-Benz to two world titles with Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1954 and 1955 seasons. During this period, including his success at the Nürburgring, Fangio achieved eight wins in all.
Long before the start of the Formula 1 world championship in 1950, however, there has been a close connection between Mercedes-Benz and the Nürburgring; an icon was born on 3rd June 1934 when the Silver Arrow had its first outing on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife in the International Eifel Race. The car was silver because mechanics had worked through the night to strip away the white paint of the brand new Mercedes-Benz W25 racing car, so as not to exceed the maximum permissible weight. The next day, Manfred von Brauchitsch won the W25's debut race, beginning the legend of the Silver Arrow.
Michael Schumacher brought his F1 career to a close last year at MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS. In April this year, Schumacher and Mercedes-Benz announced a long-term partnership that goes far beyond motor racing and Formula 1. The record-breaking champion will represent the brand as an ambassador and provide back-up for issues relating to future developments. Intelligence Drive – the safety and convenience system introduced by Mercedes-Benz – is part of his brief.
Michael Schumacher: "I have a lot of fond memories of the Nürburgring and am really looking forward to giving fans and friends from my home town of Kerpen, which is quite close to the Nürburgring, something to remember as they see me drive by. But it will be a fantastic experience for me too, driving along the Nordschleife in a state-of–the-art Formula 1 Silver Arrow, particularly in view of the fact that the Silver Arrow's legend began here. Posting a lap in a modern Silver Arrow on the most beautiful and most testing circuit in the world, what a brilliant mix – it's every motor racing driver's dream!"