Prixview – German Grand Prix

Prixview Testing & Race Reports

Round eleven of the season takes Formula One to the German town of Hockenheim in south west Baden-Württemberg region for the German Grand Prix. Germany marks the end for now of the four traditional European races, in the heartland of Mercedes who are based in the state capital Stuttgart, as well as being title sponsor for this year’s race.

Built-in 1932 the circuit originally resembled a twelve km triangle later was shortened to seven kilometers, this circuit remained in use until 2001. The only addition in the 1960s was the addition of the stadium and the Clark Chicane, named after the Scottsman Jim Clark who was killed in an F2 race in 1968.

Shortly before the outbreak of WWII, the layout was altered to the classic circuit, shortened, from twelve kilometers down to just over seven and a half, and the famous Ostkurve corner, which lasted until 2001, was introduced for the first time. Nazi using the circuit has a tank depo.

Following the war, the race returned to the Nürburgrin1g, located in the Eifel Mountain region in western Germany about 70 miles (112 km) from Frankfurt and Cologne. First as a non-championship race and the as part of the world championship in 1951. The Nordschleife layout became one of the sports most demanding and technically demanding on the calendar.

On their return to the sport, Mercedes dominated the race taking victory in 1954, however, following the disaster at Le Mans the race was canceled and the silver arrows withdrew from the sport. But in recent years Mercedes has dominated this race in the hybrid era.

Hockenheim became the permanent home to the race in 1977, after the decision to boycott the Nürburgring. The race won by Niki Lauda, a year after he crashed out and suffered life-changing injuries. Going through the corner, Lauda lost control of his Ferrari when its rear suspension failed.

The car crashed into a grass embankment and burst into flames. During the impact, Lauda’s helmet was wrenched from his head, and his burning Ferrari was hit by the cars of Brett Lunger, Arturo Merzario and Harald Ertl. Since then the Nordschleife has not been used race.

Changes also were made at Hockenheim, the current layout of Hockenheim dates back to 2002 when the current circuit was built. 1995 saw Micheal Schumacher become the first German to win his home race since Rudolf Caracciola in 1939. Formula One interest in Germany had peaked during the emergence of Schumacher. 1997 saw an exceptional win by Austrian Gerhard Berger.

The final race on the old Hockenheim circuit saw a remarkable a huge accident between n Brazilian Luciano Burti in a Prost and Schumacher in a Ferrari; this race was won by Michael’s brother Ralf in the Williams.

The new circuit was 2.7mi saw Michael take victory in 2002, while BMW’s Juan Pablo Montoya won for Williams-BMW, it was the second German GP victory in three years for engines of the Bavarian carmaker. Schumacher’s final home win was in 2004, the following two seasons saw victory for Fernando Alonso.

From 2007 the race began to alternate with the Nurburgring, now the shorter GP circuit this deal was expected to run until 2019. The 2007 ‘European’ Grand Prix was one filled with drama, with many of the championship rivals sufferings offs in the thunderstorm. This allowed Spkier to lead the race but the drama eventually fell to Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton took victory the following year, since then he has taken three further wins at Hockenheim a one at the Nurburgring. Last years race proved dramatic with Hamilton coming through the field after crashing out of qualifying to take victory after Sebastian Vettel crashed out while leading the race.

Facts and figures

Round 11 of 21
Race Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Grosser Preis von Deutschland 2019
Venue Hockenheimring, Am Motodrom, Hockenheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Circuit Length 4.574km (2.842 mi)
Laps 67
Race Distance 306.458 km (190.433 mi)
Lap Record 01:13.780 race/official (2004, Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren)

01:11.212 qualifying (2018, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari)

Most wins drivers Rudolf Caracciola (6)
Most wins manufacture Ferrari (22

Fast facts

  • Seven of the eleven races to date at the redesigned Hockenheim (since 2002) have been won from pole. Only twice has the winner started off the front row Fernando Alonso from third in 2005 and Lewis Hamilton last year.
  • Lewis Hamilton can beat Schumacher’s tally of German Grand Prix wins at this year. He’s won four times – three times at Hockenheim and once at the Nurburgring.
  • Jim Clark and Jacky Ickx have achieved the most pole positions at the German Grand Prix with four a piece. Of the current drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen have two.
  • With the exceptions of Keke Rosberg in 1986 and Nico Rosberg in 2016 the polesitter of an F1 race at Hockenheim has always either finished on the podium or failed to finish the race.
  • Hockenheimring track contains fast straights, technical sections and is relatively low on tyre degradation due to its smooth surface, however, the cooler temperatures can make keeping the rubber in the required performance window tricky.

Event timetable

Session

Local

BST

Friday

P1 11:00-12:30 10:00-11:30
P2 15:00-16:30 14:00-15:30

Saturday

P3 12:00-13:00 11:00-12:00
Qualifying 15:00-16:00 14:00-15:00

Sunday

Race 15:10 14:10

What happened in 2018?

Sebastian Vettel took pole at Hockenheim after edging out the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in the final moments of Qualifying. This put him in a position to extend his championship lead after Lewis Hamilton ground to a halt and started fourteenth. Not the start Mercedes wanted to their home Grand Prix, but that allowed Verstappen to edge out Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

It was a stunning drive from Hamilton, he worked his way into the top three by the midway point. He had run a very long first stint and as he closed in on Bottas his title rival Vettel had total control. Hamilton had now by lap 45 made his stop and was running third.

Then a flash of lightning and the rain began to fall, by stopping at the right time Hamilton now had the edge over the rest of the field. Vettel remained in the lead and after Hamilton’s stop on lap 45, rain began to fall. At this point, it was Vettel, Raikkonen, and Hamilton.

Vettel had a clear lead, however, on his in-lap the German misjudged his breaking into Sachs and crashed into the barrier, bringing out the safety car. That allowed Hamilton to make a free stop and stay in the lead after switching to Inters. As was the 2018 story, it was Hamilton’s recovery and maximization on Vettel’s mistakes which were defining the season.

After the restart, Bottas launched a fearsome assault on his teammate and Hamilton defended like a terrier until the team ordered the Finn to hold station. As race engineer Pete Bonnington put it, “Miracles do happen”, and in a race where Hamilton needed to limit the damage, he left with a seventeen point lead, after taking the win.

Race Result – 1) L.Hamilton,  Mercedes, 01:32:29.845, 2) V. Bottas, Mercedes, +4.532, 3) K. Raikkonen, Ferrari, +6.732

What to watch for?

Mercedes once again head into the second home race as the favorite to take victory, Hockenheim is a very similar circuit to Silverstone. The thing you need to remember that most circuits Mercedes are fast in a straight line, Hockenheim is basically four straights with an infield section. Lewis Hamilton again should be the driver to beat this weekend.

I think unless we get a mixed-up grid and weather like last year, it will be very difficult for Mercedes to be beaten this weekend. Ferrari, I believe will be in the same position we have seen all season, this means it will be another fight with Red Bull this weekend. Ferrari, however, will not give up and try to challenge for the teams first win of the season.

Red Bull will be looking to continue the teams run of results and though its another difficult weekend on paper where challenging Mercedes will be hard. You need to say their battle will be with McLaren, the British team has had a really good season becoming the strongest midfield team.

2017 vs 2018 Race Data

P1 Fastest

P2 Fastest

P3 Fastest

Q1 Fastest

Q2 Fastest

Q3 Fastest

Race Time

Fastest Lap

2018

01:13.525 01:13.085 01:34.577 01:12.505 01:12.152 01:11.212 01:32:29.845 01:15.545

Diff

-1.992 -2.529 +18.839 -0.262 -2.596 -3.151 -02:15.645 -02:03.103

2016

01:15.517 01:15.614 01:15.738 01:15.243 01:14.748 01:14.363 01:30:44.200 01:18.442

A lap of Hockenheim

Coming out of the SudKeure to go to the outside along the kerb before going across pole to start the lap were he takes the NordKerve to the outside to run down the straight to two. Goes in tight at two which sets him up nicely for three and four. Then for the long straight curve at the Parabolika good through.

Heading to the Hairpin going to the outside on exit before running to seven without breaking. Good through Mercedes heading to the kinks at nine and ten which a gain a good line there. Enters the stadium with a good line through Mobil 1 going great through Sachs before brief oversteer going to thirteen and fourteen.

Setting him up for good turn fifteen before going back through SudKurve and back to outside and across the line on a 01:14.363 to take pole.

Tyres

Driver

Team

White Hard (C2)

Yellow Medium (C3)

Red Soft (C4)

L. Hamilton

Mercedes 1 4 8
V. Bottas 2 3

8

S. Vettel

Ferrari 1 3 9
C. Leclerc 2 2

9

M. Verstappen

Red Bull – Honda 1 4 8
P. Gasly 1 4

8

D. Riccardo

Renault 1 2 10
N. Hulkenberg 2 1

10

K. Magnussen

Haas – Ferrari 1 3 9
R. Grosjean 2 2

9

C. Sainz Jr

McLaren – Renault 2 2 9
L. Norris 2 3

8

S. Perez

Racing Point –

Mercedes

2 3 8
L. Stroll 2 3

8

K. Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo – Ferrari 1 3 9
A. Giovinazzi 2 2

9

D. Kvyat

Toro Rosso –Honda 2 1 10
A. Albon 1 2

10

G. Russell

Williams – Mercedes 2 2 9
R. Kubica 1 3

9

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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