Having won the season opener at the beginning of the season, the man taking us on a flying lap of the 4.574km Hockenheimring is none other than the man that won the season opener, and a man who has won three races this year. Team RBM’s Brazilian ace, Augusto Farfus was kind enough to take us around a track that is fast, technically-challenging and really tests the will of a driver on a circuit that demands the utmost respect. So we’ll leave you in his capable hands to give you the lowdown on how hard the track is:
“Starting the lap at Hockenheim, you go into turn 1 at around 180km/h in fourth gear, whilst being important to try to keep the car in between the white lines on the exit. Then there is the short straight leading to turn 2, where it is easy to brake too hard, lock the rears and miss the apex. The exit here is crucial, as you go down the parabolica towards the turn 6 hairpin.
“Normally at that point, that is where DRS is really used and where the best chance to overtake is. We go all the way through the gears to around 260 km/h in top gear, before going back down the gearbox whilst breaking hard. It is a good place to be able to brake late at, as well as overtaking. The traction is the main problem in the hairpin, where focusing set-up on the rear is key to be able to apply the throttle early out of the corner.
“Afterwards, you have another long straight with a high-speed right hand kink, which leads to turn 8, which is one of the most difficult corners on the circuit. This is because you can potentially lock up the inside rear quite easily, before you have a quick change of direction, where it is flat out, but the rear of the car is always on the limit. The car can get very snappy there, but on new tyres, you can take the corner flat out.
“Heading into the stadium section and turn 11 which is really nice and flat, with a minimum speed again of around 180 km/h, you have to use as much of the kerb as possible on the exit. This then leads to the banked SachsKurve, where you brake super late and run wide, and try to use the advantage of having a banked corner to pass drivers.
“Then it is a case of the short left-right combination before the final two corners, where understeer can happen, In the first, which is taken in third gear, where you have to put the power down, going up into fourth, and try to get the best exit before putting down the power to go past the start/finish line.”
He may have qualified in 10th place ahead of the final race of the season, but don’t bet against the plucky Brazilian, as he has shown how much of a threat he can be to one day winning the DTM title for himself.