Drivers had long complained about the dangers of the Nürburgring, and had finally insisted on a series of safety improvements necessary for continued use of the track. The track owners refused, feeling that the Grand Prix would return regardless. To stave off the threat of a boycott, the AvD cut a deal with the Hockenheimring to hold the race, over the strong objections of the Nürburgring owners. But the drivers and car owners stood firm, so the Nürburgring was off the schedule for 1970.
The track was not popular with the drivers, with its premium on power and slipstreaming. Safety aside, even Jackie Stewart missed the Nürburgring. His weekend was one of melancholy, as Hockenheim was where his close friend Jim Clark had been killed in a Formula Two race, two years previously, and Stewart had turned down substantial sums of money to avoid racing there since then.