Germany, the country that has just won the 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to host the next round of the FIA Formula One World Championship at the Hockenheimring.
Two weeks ago at the British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton took victory at his home race to close the gap in the driver’s world championship back down to just four points from his German team-mate Nico Rosberg. Now as Formula One moves on, Nico Rosberg will take to the track in his home nation as he aims to regain momentum to keep the championship lead.
The Hockenheimring is a 4.574 kilometre track near the town of Hockenheim in Baden-Württemberg, Germany and first held a Formula One GP back in 1970. The decision to move the German Grand Prix to the Hockenheimring came after drivers planned to boycott the race, if it was held at the Nürburgring. Since the race in 1970, the German Grand Prix returned to Hockenheim every year until 2006, except from 1976 & 1985 where the Nürburgring hosted the race. But from 2007 onwards, the Hockenheimring & the Nürburgring have shared the hosting on an alternating yearly schedule. And this year it falls in favour of the Hockenheimring.
The Hockenheimring was shortened in the early 2000’s, with Hermann Tilke redesigning the track. Under the redesign, the track lost the long straights that stretched into the forest, in favour of more tight corners. Due to the modifications, many felt that the track had lost its character and its unique challenges.
But the track currently used for the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring provides drivers and fans with a mix of tight corners and fast sections. From the start of the race, turn one can provide drivers with a challenge as they will aim to carry as much speed as possible through the corner, but will have to rein the car in, so that they do not exceed track limits.
Moving on to the parabolika, the aid of DRS should see the drivers reaching high speeds and if in pursuit of another driver, here could be the perfect opportunity for an overtake. If they are able to get a great exit from turn 2 for the run down to the hairpin, the driver may be able to complete an overtake from pure speed alone. If not another chance to complete the overtake will come thanks to the heavy breaking zone at the end of the parabolika, where drivers need to slow their cars down in time for the hairpin.
Later on in the track there is the stadium section. Here, we have most of the grandstands that surround the track and create a stadium atmosphere, hence its name. But for the track itself, the banked corner at turn 13 will provide a challenge, especially if the rain falls.
In the last two German Grand Prix’s held at the Hockenheimring, Fernando Alonso took victory adding to his victory at the track back in 2005. If the Spaniard is to add another victory at Hockenheim to his record this year he must be hoping for heavy rain to even out the playing field. As with all races thus far this season, the power advantage the Mercedes has on the rest will put them in the best position to chalk up another victory.
For the German Grand Prix, the teams will be given the Pirelli yellow-marked soft compound and the red-marked supersoft compound of tyres for Hockenheim.
If you wish to watch the race live on TV in England, it will be exclusively live on SkySportsF1 across the weekend. The BBC will be covering qualifying and the race live on BBC Radio 5 live and have highlights of each later in the day.
SkySportsF1’s schedule for the German Grand Prix is as follows:
Thursday 17th July
14:00 – Drivers’ Press Conference – Live
Friday 18th July
08:45 – German GP Practice One – Live
11:00 – GP2 Practice – Live
12:45 – German GP Practice Two – Live
14:50 – GP2 Qualifying – Live
16:00 – Team Principals’ Press Conference
17:00 – The F1 Show – Live
Saturday 19th July
08:45 – GP3 Qualifying – Live
09:45 – German GP Practice Three – Live
12:00 – German GP Qualifying – Live
14:35 – GP2 Feature Race – Live
16:15 – GP3 Race One – Live
Sunday 20th July
08:20 – GP3 Race Two – Live
09:30 – GP2 Sprint Race – Live
11:30 – German GP – Track Parade – Live
12:00 – German GP – Race – Live
15:30 – German GP – Paddock Live
As for the BBC, their coverage is as follows:
Saturday 19th July
13:00 – German GP Qualifying – Live on BBC Radio 5 Live
17:25 – German GP Qualifying – Highlights on BBC One
Sunday 20th July
12:45 – German GP Race – Live on BBC Radio 5 Live
19:00 – German GP Race – Highlights on BBC Two