The 2016 Formula One season found the World Championship taken by a German team, Mercedes, and a German driver, Nico Rosberg. Germany has had many successes and failures during the history of motor racing and the life of the modern Formula One World Championship. While pre-war the Auto Unions ruled motor racing circuits and post-war the Mercedes Silver Arrows made a significant mark until the tragedy at the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours, it’s difficult to appreciate that it took until 1994 for Germany to produce an F1 World Championship driver—Michael Schumacher. Although 1970’s posthumous World Champion Jochen Rindt, had been born in Germany, he represented his grandparents’ homeland, Austria. Since then, a German driver has won the championship on 11 more occasions, with Schumacher’s iron grip on the series from 2000-’04 being the highlight—albeit aboard an Italian car, Ferrari—before Sebastian Vettel’s four-year domination from 2010-’13 with Red Bull, an Austrian marque.
So, Rosberg’s World Championship title is a unique achievement from a German perspective. This battle has taken six decades to realize, but there have been many who’ve tried over that time with teams including Porsche, ATS and briefly Eifelland. Our profile this month looks at the story of the German Eifelland Racing Team chasing the dream and trying to attain motor racing’s ultimate accolade. The story includes the tale of a German Caravan company, Eifelland, an eccentric German sculptor/industrial designer and a great German sportscar driver who wanted to win the F1 World Championship.
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