German Grand Prix Preview

Preview the 2016 German Grand Prix.

After a year off the calendar, the German Grand Prix is back as Formula One returns to Hockenheim. Last seen in 2014, the German Grand Prix disappeared from the 2015 calendar after the Nurburgring failed to agree a new deal with Ecclestone amidst funding concerns. But with its biennial rotation, the German Grand Prix is back at the Hockenheimring.

It was the first time in 55 years of Formula One that Germany did not host a Grand Prix, and could be the case again next year. With the Nurburgring still yet to agree a deal with Bernie Ecclestone for F1 to return to the circuit under its new ownership.

The new ownership, interestingly, could have been Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone had the previous owners accepted his bid for the circuit back in 2014 when the famous track went into administration.

Ecclestone’s bid, however, was turned down in favour of “Maybe one or two millions higher than my offer,” as said by Bernie in 2015.

The chief executive of the Formula One Group then continued with: “The stupidity was: Because of two millions they’ve lost somebody, who had guaranteed, that there would have been races for 100 years [at the Nurburgring] and who would have tried to improve the things. They ran away for a few dollars more.”

Bernie Ecclestone. Photo credit: Ryan Bayona

Bernie Ecclestone. Photo credit: Ryan Bayona

For now, though, the German Grand Prix is back at the Hockenheimring for the final race of 2016 before the summer shut down occurs.

Back in 2014, when Formula One last visited the circuit, Hamilton had to battle from the back as a brake failure in qualifying and a gearbox change saw him start from 20th on the grid. Lewis, however, managed his way through the field to finish on the podium behind his race-winning team-mate.

Hockenheimring pit straight and stadium stand. Copyright: Force India F1 Team

Hockenheimring pit straight and stadium stand. Copyright: Force India F1 Team

If Hamilton suffers another qualifying disaster this year, Rosberg will go into the race with a great chance to regain the lead for the drivers’ championship having lost it for the first time when Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Lewis’ win came as he bettered Nico off the line. But the real story to leave the Hungaroring was the ongoing feud between the Silver Arrows pairing regarding double-waved yellow flags during qualifying – with Rosberg snatching pole from Hamilton.

Going forward from here, Hamilton has sought clarification over the double-yellow flags after Rosberg lost a tenth of a second during his pole lap while lifting for the spun McLaren of Alonso.

Hockenheimring. Copyright: Force India F1 Team

Hockenheimring. Copyright: Force India F1 Team

The Hockenheimring is a 4.574-kilometre track near the town of Hockenheim in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, which first held a Grand Prix back in 1970.

The decision to move the race to the Hockenheimring came after drivers planned to boycott the race if it was held at the Nurburgring. With fears the circuit was becoming outdated and overly dangerous were growing.

Since 1970, the German Grand Prix returned to Hockenheim every year up until 2006, bar 1976 & 1985 where the Nurburgring hosted the race. But from 2007 onwards, the Hockenheimring & the Nurburgring shared hosting on an alternating yearly schedule. With this year falling in favour of the Hockenheimring.

Track guide

Hockenheimring track guide. Copyright: Formula

The Hockenheimring’s layout 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.

Due to the modifications, though, many felt the track had lost its character and unique challenges.

The modifications did, however, add a tight hairpin at turn six, which acts as one of the main overtaking points of the circuit. Especially with the DRS zone prior to the braking point, where slipstream can open the door.

Additional overtaking points come through the camber-alternating final sector as drivers pass the stadium grandstand.

Tyre selections for the German Grand Prix. Copyright: Pirelli

The German Grand Prix is exclusively live in England on Sky Sports F1, with Channel 4 providing their usual highlight package of qualifying and the race. Full TV schedule, including GP2 and GP3, is as follows:

Thursday, July 28
14:00 – Drivers’ Press Conference – Live

Friday, July 29
08:45 – German GP Practice One – Live
11:00 – GP2 Practice
12:45 – German GP Practice Two – Live
14:55 – GP2 Qualifying
15:30 – Team Principals’ Press Conference
16:00 – The F1 Show – Live

Saturday, July 30
08:45 – GP3 Qualifying
09:45 – German GP Practice Three – Live
12:00 – German GP Qualifying – Build-up
13:00 – German GP Qualifying – Session – Live
14:35 – GP2 Feature Race
16:10 – GP3 Race 1
17:45 – German GP Qualifying – Highlights (Channel 4)

Sunday, July 31
08:10 – GP3 Race 2
09:20 – GP2 Sprint Race
11:00 – Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
11:30 – German GP – Track Parade – Live
12:00 – German GP – Pit lane – Live
13:00 – German GP – Race – Live
15:30 – German GP – Paddock Live
18:00 – German GP – Highlights (Channel 4)
18:15 – German GP – Highlights
19:15 – Ted’s Race Notebook

Times above are for Sky Sports F1 unless stated.