Since the beginning of the Formula 1 championship in 1950, the German Grand Prix has failed to be run on only four occasions. It has shifted between two tracks, with the Nürburgring and Hockenheimring hosting all but one of the events, when it was run in 1959 at Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungs-Strasse, known as AVUS, near Berlin.
The race was not run in the first year of the championship because Germany and German drivers were banned at the time from taking part in international sports events following World War II.
Before the war, Germany had been one of the leading auto-racing countries, with its first Grand Prix running in 1926. That race was won by Rudolf Caracciola, a German who won the European drivers' championship - the series before the Formula 1 title came into existence. Through the 1930s, the famed Mercedes Silver Arrow cars dominated Grand Prix racing.
While the Silver Arrows made a brief comeback in 1954 and 1955, until the arrival in the 1990s of Michael Schumacher - the most successful driver of all time, with seven world titles in the last 20 years - German drivers had little impact in Formula 1 and Grand Prix racing.
From 1939, the year of Caracciola's sixth and final victory in the German Grand Prix, and 1995, when Schumacher first won the race, no German driver had won the German Grand Prix. Schumacher won it again in 2002, 2004 and 2006. The only other German Formula One driver to have won it was Michael's brother, Ralf, in 2001.
With the advent of the Schumacher era, Formula 1 became so popular in Germany that for many years the country hosted both the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim and another race - either the European Grand Prix or the Luxembourg Grand Prix - at the Nürburgring. Since 2008, the German Grand Prix has rotated between the Nürburgring and Hockenheim, while the European Grand Prix has moved to Valencia, Spain.
But many of the most memorable races of the German Grand Prix took place at the old Nürburgring track, the Nordschleife, or north loop, which was a track 20.81 kilometers, or 12.93 miles, long, winding through the forests of the Eiffel hills. It was a roller coaster of a track and on it only the greatest drivers could prove their mettle.
Juan Manuel Fangio won the race there in 1958, taking his fifth drivers' title in what has sometimes been called the greatest of all Formula 1 victories. He started on pole position and immediately dropped to third, before retaking the lead by Lap 3. He made a pit stop on Lap 13 with a 30-second lead, but returned 50 seconds behind two other cars. He then made up lap time and on Lap 20 set a record, racing 11 seconds faster than the leaders. He took the lead on the penultimate lap and won by three seconds.
By 1970, the drivers were complaining about safety on the track, and the race was moved from the Nürburgring back to Hockenheim, despite the Hockenheim circuit itself having cost the life of Jim Clark, a triple world champion, in 1968 in a Formula 2 race.
Modifications were made to the Nürburgring and it was back on the calendar in 1971. But safety remained a problem until finally the track was eliminated from the series after the near-fatal crash of Niki Lauda in 1976. Lauda, who was administered the last rites at the track, survived, but was severely burned and still bears the scars on his face today.
The race moved back to Hockenheim the following year, and the old Nürburgring was never used again. A new, smaller Nürburgring track, next to the old one, was inaugurated in 1984 and hosted its first German Grand Prix in 1985.
The Hockenheimring was redesigned in 2002, with a vast portion of long straights through the forest cut off in favor of a small track with a large, tight hairpin to facilitate overtaking.
The old Hockenheim was particularly difficult and hard on cars, and in 1994 only eight of the 26 cars that started the race finished.
The distinctive, winding track in the stadium area has remained, however, and is a favorite for fans to see the cars and for the drivers to see the fans.
''It's always a bit more special and it's nice that I only live one hour away so I don't have to catch a flight,'' said Nico Hulkenberg, a German driver at the Force India team. ''The fans always support the race and help produce a good atmosphere, especially in the stadium section at the end of the lap.''