The Nürburgring’s organisers tried to keep it up to date over the years – resurfacing the track in 1957 and completely rebuilding large parts of it in 1970. But after Niki Lauda’s near-fatal accident at Bergwerk in 1976, the CSI ruled that the circuit was no longer safe for Formula 1.
Instead, government investment helped build a modern Grand Prix track at the old start/finish area. The result was an uninspiring “designed-by-computer” venue that suffers in comparison with the original. The old pits were replaced with a new complex, and a modern hotel now overlooks the startline. The circuit length was increased in 2002 by the introduction of a new infield loop after Turn One.
Thankfully for enthusiasts, the old circuit is still used for the annual, gruelling Nürburgring 24 Hours, as well as a number of other series: the World Touring Car Cup uses the Nordschleife for its German round and the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS, formerly VLN) holds regular races.