Tag Archive | Germany

Germany – Provisional grid after penalties

Nico Rosberg, Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber have been given five-place  grid penalties for gearbox changes. Sergio Perez has been handed a five-place grid penalty for blocking during qualifying.

The provisional starting order for the German Grand Prix after these penalties is as follows:

Grid No Driver Team
1 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
3 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes
4 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India
5 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams
6 3 Jenson Button McLaren
7 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren
8 2 Mark Webber Red Bull
9 11 Paul di Resta Force India
10 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus
11 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso
12 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber
13 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari
14 19 Bruno Senna Williams
15 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
16 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham
17 15 Sergio Perez Sauber
18 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham
19 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus
20 25 Charles Pic Marussia
21 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
22 24 Timo Glock Marussia
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT

Alonso on pole in Germany

Fernando Alonso has taken pole position for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix, in a brilliant display of wet weather driving.

Although there had been rain earlier in the day, the racing line in Q1 was completely dry, and the teams streamed out onto the track, fearing that the weather might affect the latter part of the session. The rain held off, which was fortunate for Michael Schumacher who only just squeaked in to Q2 with a last lap effort to put him 17th.

The rain came down just before Q2 started, which made the conditions difficult to read. All of the drivers who had made it into the session went out on intermediate tyres, but as the rain continued to fall the full wets became necessary, and the times soon stopped coming down. Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean were caught out by the weather, and did not manage to post quick enough times to make it through to Q3.

Q3 was very wet, so much so that Nico Hulkenberg aquaplaned into a spin in the high-speed turn five, and Michael Schumacher complained over the radio that the track was too wet to drive. Nonetheless, the drivers kept at it, and as the cars began to disperse the water the times started to tumble. Ferrari made a good strategic call to bring Alonso in for a fresh set of full wets, and he rocketed to the top of the time-sheets with only a few minutes to go. Right at the end, Alonso improved on his own pole time, which proved unnecessary as no-one else could challenge him.

The Red Bull pair of Vettel and Webber qualified second and third respectively, followed by Schumacher, who had a strong Q3 despite almost not progressing from Q1. Hulkenberg and Maldonado were fifth and sixth, followed by the McLaren pair of Button and Hamilton who seemed to struggle in the wet conditions. Paul di Resta came in ninth to complete a good session for Force India, and Kimi Raikkonen  rounded out the top ten.

Alonso’s second pole in as many races highlights his form, particularly in the wet, where he has been untouchable so far this season. The weather is expected to be dry for tomorrow’s race, which shouldn’t bother Alonso too much as the Ferrari F2012 seems to be quick in all conditions.

Germany preview – Time for a home victory

Michael Schumacher put Germany properly on the Formula One map by becoming the country’s first World Champion in 1994 and then going on to become by far the sport’s most successful driver in history. As a result of Schumacher’s success, Formula One became enormously popular in Germany, and the fans are expected to flock to Hockenheim this weekend to cheer on their heroes.

This year there are five German drivers on the grid, so the fans will have much to shout about. Sebastian Vettel is the most likely of the local boys to take victory, but Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are in with a shout if all goes well. Nico Hulkenberg will be hoping to score good points and Timo Glock will want to finish ahead of his rivals at HRT.

The championship is beginning to take shape, after Ferrari and Red Bull looked a step ahead of the rest of the field at Silverstone. McLaren will be hoping that a significant upgrade, including new side-pods, can put them back in contention with the front-runners. Mercedes are expecting to be quicker at Hockenheim than they were at Silverstone, where the Silver Arrows were disappointing in dry conditions.

Fernando is faster than you”

The last time Felipe Massa looked like winning a race was also the last time Hockenheim hosted a Grand Prix. In 2010, Massa was leading his team-mate when Ferrari effectively ordered him to move over and let Alonso through.

Massa has never really looked like challenging Alonso for number one status at Ferrari, but after being snubbed by his team in 2010, this weekend would be an opportune time to begin to re-assert himself. The Brazilian needs to produce good results consistently if he is to have any chance of retaining his drive at Ferrari for 2013.

Tyres

Pirelli took their experimental hard tyre to the British Grand Prix for the teams to test in Friday practice. Wet weather meant that no running on the tyre was possible, and so Pirelli have opted to bring the same tyres to Germany for the teams to sample in the first and second practice sessions.

For the rest of the weekend, the medium and soft tyre compounds will be used. It is the first time that Pirelli tyres are being used at the Hockenheimring, after last year’s German Grand Prix was run at the Nurburgring, so the teams will want as much running as possible in practice to gather information about the behaviour of the tyres on the track surface..

Race prediction

Red Bull were supremely quick in Valencia before Sebastian Vettel’s alternator failed. At Silverstone, Mark Webber won the race, with Vettel third. The World Champion has not won a race since the Bahrain Grand Prix in April, and is now behind his team-mate in the championship, a situation he will not want to sustain.

Vettel has never won the German Grand Prix. He has the machinery to do it this year, and needs a win to bolster his championship challenge. The double World Champion from Germany is therefore a strong contender for victory on Sunday.

Stats

Circuit Length: 4.574 km
Corners: 17
Race laps: 67
Race length: 306.458 km
Lap Record: 1:13.780 – Kimi Raikkonen / McLaren (2004)

2011 results (The race was held at the Nurburgring):
Race winner: Lewis Hamilton / Mclaren
Pole position: Mark Webber / Red Bull – 1:30.079
Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton / McLaren – 1:34.302

Trivia

  • The Schumacher brothers, Michael and Ralf, are the only Germans to have won the German Grand Prix since the formation of the Formula One World Championship in 1950.
  • The last driver to win back-to-back German Grands Prix was Nigel Mansell in 1991-1992.
  • Ferrari have won the German Grand Prix an astonishing 21 times.

Weather

There is a chance of rain on Friday and Saturday, which would be unfortunate for Pirelli, as they are still trying to get the teams to test their experimental hard tyre after the first two practice sessions were wet at Silverstone. Sunday is expected to be dry, which could produce interesting results as the teams will potentially have very little opportunity to fine-tune their dry set-ups.

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