Mastering the Nürbugring's Most Famous Corner

From bumpy tarmac to banked concrete at the Caracciola Karussell, also known as the Carousel.

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Porsche

The iconic Carousel is a blind corner laying on top of a ridge, creating a switchback before sending drivers to the top of the hill at Höhe Acht. It became a thing in the 1930s, when German racing driver Rudolf Caracciola decided to find some grip by hooking his skinny tires into the drainage ditch at the bottom of the curve. As he was copied by more and more competitors, the concrete bits got uncovered, and during the track's next reconstruction, the corner was rebuilt with a real concrete banking, resulting in the famous berm-style banking we have today.

As it happens, being one of the Nürburgring's two mixed material surface corners also makes it the most expensive part to maintain, due to ice forcing the plates apart.

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Flickrelyob

But more crucially, how to be the fastest around it? Ron Simons, CEO of has a few tips for you:

"Taken in second or third gear, the ideal line is the combination of a maximum radius and using the banked section to its full potential. On approach, the track snakes left and right, but ignore this as you want to drive the straight line here. The final curb on the right marks your braking point for the corner. The key here is to ease the car into the bowl a little later rather than earlier, joining as smoothly as possible."
"In the mid-section, find the maximum camber sweet spot and keep the car there. You want to be in the absolute middle of the concrete plates where the banking is at its steepest. This way, the biggest chunk of centrifugal force is converted into downforce, free of any weight penalty."
"On exit, use a controlled release of the built up energy to slingshot you on to the following straight. The key here is not to steer out, but only to accelerate a little at the right moment, letting the banking 'spit you out' over the corner of the last plate. When perfectly timed, it will feel absolutely right, and add a few hundred RPM to your exit speed revs."

Now, you know!

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Máté Petrány / Road&Track

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