RINGSIDE SEAT: OCCUPYING FORCES
Why the arrival of hundreds of thousands of race fans in the Eifel mountains is good news for the locals
But the 21km Nurburgring Nordschleife does all the surrounding here. It doesn't just surround us, it envelopes four different villages (Nurburg, Quiddelbach, Herschbroich and Breidscheid) and normally contains about 2500 residents. Right now I'd multiply that figure about 20 times. And double that again for the campers based all around the track.
It's amazing to live in the middle of this circus, as I am lucky enough to do. For the past week I've been dodging incredible numbers of lorries dropping off everything from pre-fabricated houses for the BMW 'M' Village to another 50,000 frozen bread buns for the bakery. It's busy, busy, busy, everywhere you look.
Our own very young kids are almost sleeping like normal, even with the night-time qualifying vibrating the German window roller shutters until midnight last night! Racing and noise is just a fact of life here, and anybody with a bit of land or driveway onto a main road seems to be capitalising on it. From lemonade stalls to burger and breakfast vans, there are hundreds of ways to make the most of the 24-hour race.
And at the end of the afternoon I did my own bit for the noise-pollution of the Eifel mountains by going for a lap of the Nordschleife through the campers, smoke and home-made grandstands. Take a look at the occupation of the Nurburgring in the video below.