Adenauer Forst at the Nurburing is infamous for the being the corner almost all ‘Ring first-timers get wrong. This normal means a spin, a trip across the grass or at worst a nudge against the armco barriers.
Along with lots of examples of drivers (and riders) going off track here, this article takes a look at what makes the corner so deceiving and what you can do to avoid being on a Youtube highlights reel.
Why is it called Adenauer Forst?
Adenauer Forst translated to English simply means Adenau Forest. No prizes for guessing that the name of the corner came from the name of the forest which this bit of the track runs through. The town of Adenau is just over a mile north of this corner.
Read our article on the Nurburgring corner names to find out why the rest of the 85 corners were given their names.
Where is Adenauer Forst?
Adenauer Forst is around 7km in to a lap of the Nurburgring, so one third of the way around the 21km Nordschleife. It comes directly after the fearsome Foxhole where cars reach one of their fastest speeds over the whole lap.
After Adenauer Forst comes Metzgesfeld, a very fast left hand corner. That leads on to the corner now known as Blame James (those who know, know).
It’s also a fan favourite spot for camping at the Nurburgring during the 24h race.
Adenauer Forst corners
Adenauer Forst is actually made up of 3 distinct corners.
- The first is a very fast right hander where you carry a lot of speed after exiting the Foxhole.
- The second is an incredibly sharp and pretty much blind left hander. This is the one that everyone gets wrong.
- The third part is a an equally tight right hander, but if you’ve got the second corner right then it’s unlikely you’re going too fast for this third turn.
Why does everyone get it wrong?
It’s the second of the three corners that everyone gets wrong; the tight left hander. There are two main reasons for this.
The entry speed from the previous right hander is high. Cars leave the Foxhole via the fast left-hand crest at well over 110mph or 175kph, which leads in to the first right-hander of Adenauer Forst. Whilst you do have to brake for this corner, it’s still pretty fast, often with cars hitting the apex at around 75mph or 120kph.
The left hander that everyone gets wrong, however, is much much slower. Minimum speeds of around 50mph / 80kph are as fast as it gets.
The left hander is actually 2 corners
The corner itself is incredibly deceiving. Whilst I’ve said there are 3 distinct corners at Adenauer Forst, for the purpose of this explanation it’s more accurate to say that the second corner, the left hander, is actually made up of two left handers.
This satellite view of the track helps explain.
As you can see 2a is the first left hander which is fairly gradual. There is then a very short bit of track that’s pretty much straight before the tighter left hander of 2b appears.
When you’re driving the track you have no visibility whatsoever of 2b until you are right on top of it, thanks to a slight crest.
A driver's view
To help explain this more, let’s look at some screenshots from me driving my Clio 172 around the Ring.
First you enter the initial right hander of Adenauer Forst at a fairly high speed. My Clio’s speedo is reading just below 80mph at this point. Up ahead you can see a left hand turn which you assume to be the tightest part of the corner. But it’s actually 2a, the first part.
As you approach the left hander your car naturally drifts over to the left hand side of the circuit due to the speed you’ve just carried through the right hander. You are still approaching 2a.
Once you apex the first left hander, it looks like the track straightens out in front of you slightly, with a kink off to the left. Even at this point, once we’ve passed 2a, you still have pretty much no visibility of 2b as it is up a slight crest.
Only when you go a little further along the track does the left hander of 2b suddenly appear in front of you. If you’re not expecting it, you’ve probably carried too much speed after apexing 2a as you thought the track was straightening out.
If you did carry too much speed you’ll have nowhere to go except straight on over the big kerb and across the large grassy run-off.
By this point I had learnt the Nurburgring pretty well so managed to keep it on the track.
When you get it wrong at Adenauer Forst
If you do get it wrong at Adenauer Forst theres probably a few things that could happen:
- You realise you’ve gone in too fast, lift off the throttle and spin around. You’re left facing oncoming traffic and can see everyone laughing at you as they navigate around your stricken car.
- You lift off the throttle, start to spin, try and catch it and end up nudging the armco on the left hand side of the track. This is pretty uncommon but can happen. Sometimes it’s better to let the car spin on the spot than prolong a catch which takes you off the track.
- By the time you realise you’ve gone in too fast it’s far too late and you’ve already driven straight off the track. Luckily there’s a big grassy runoff area here, one of the few places on the Nurburgring that has one, so you can keep going and re-join.
In the last scenario, which is the most common, you should re-join the track well past the exit of Adenauer Forst (like the green arrow below).
Don’t try and rejoin in the middle of the corner where the red arrows are below. Traffic is always bunched up here, plus the kerb you have to get down is massive and will take off your front splitter.
Or you do what Koenigsegg did when trying to set a lap record in the One:1 and crash on the first right hander of AF.
People have been getting it wrong at Adenauer Forst for decades.
This video is footage from Touristenfahrten in the 1970s. If you haven’t seen it before then watch a few minutes for the nostalgia of seeing original 911s, Beetles and BMW 2002s if nothing else. But also to see how easily cars seemed to fall over back then, and how easily people fell out of them without seatbelts.
Here’s another from the early ’90s right up to 2013. It includes lots of 1990s hot hatches displaying some wonderful lift-off oversteer spins.
They’re worth checking out before you head to the Ring so you can see just how frequently people mess up. You can also see how big the kerbs are that you want to avoid!
Tips for driving Adenauer Forst
Here’s a few driving tips for negotiating this corner safely:
- Build yourself up slowly. Your first few laps should be gentle and you should be well within your comfort zone.
- Treat the left hand section of Adenauer Forst as two separate corners. When you’ve passed the first left, remind yourself there’s another even tighter left about to appear.
- Stay off the kerbs! Every kerb through this section is huge, will slow you down and might even damage your car.
- If you have got it wrong and are heading towards the kerbs, try and hit them with your wheels straight. Hitting a kerb whilst your wheels are turned can mean kerbing, a puncture or even broken steering.
- Don’t fall out of the car.