Monday, May 21, 2007



It had been 31 years since a modern F1 car was driven on the legendary Nurburgring. Arguably the greatest track in the world, the Nurburgring is used extensively by auto manufacturers for testing new models. 13 miles in length and consisting of more than 150 corners, the track takes years to master.

Track records and lap times are posted around the Internet, and provide something of the Ultimate Benchmark of overall car performance and speed. In 1975, Niki Lauda put down a blistering lap of 6:58.6 in his Ferrari 312 B3 during that year's German GP.

As reported by, and with video at Jalopnik, BMW recently took their 2006 F1 entry to the Nurburgring, giving Nick Heidfeld the opportunity to put one of the fastest and best-handling cars in automotive history to the ultimate test in BMW's backyard.

The result? A best effort of 8:34. How could the pinnacle of automotive achievement post such a slow time? Heidfeld, after receiving the keys to the track and the car, also received orders to go easy, and pose for mid-lap photos. On all three of the laps he was allowed to run.

Opportunities to run modern F1 cars on the Nurburgring are too rare as it is, and for BMW to squander theirs with a photo shoot is absurd.

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