Hockenheim: Meet me halfway

Hockenheim: Meet me halfway

19 July 2012 – The German Grand Prix marks the midway point of the 2012 Formula 1 season. Yes, you read that right – how time flies. Last time we visited Hockenheim was two years ago, when Ferrari infamously switched their two cars around. This time, the legendary venue will be greeted by one of the sport’s best ever title battles.

Things are tightening up at the top, with Mark Webber’s Silverstone victory having reduced the 20-point gap to Fernando Alonso to just 13. With the next two races running back-to-back, everybody is striving to be the championship leader when boarding their departing flight from Budapest - it’s always a nice confidence boost ahead of the summer break. Curiously, though, even Sebastian Vettel is now over one race win away from the title lead. He and others need to get on with it.

Ahead of the weekend, the German Grand Prix has been making headlines for the wrong reasons. The Nürburgring is bankrupt. This raises questions over next year’s race, as the alternating pattern continues. Hockenheim could host events consecutively although, also strapped for cash, it would rather not do so. Bernie Ecclestone has already offered to help the Nürburgring and, with Germany being the home of the current World Champion and of powerhouse Mercedes, you can be sure that Bernie will ensure that the country will remain firmly on the schedule next year.

Staying on the subject of deals, the 2013 grid is finally taking shape. Mark Webber has signed a further one-year deal with Red Bull, having proven to himself that he does still very much have what it takes to beat Sebastian Vettel; who would have believed, at the end of last season, that the Aussie would have out-raced the German on six out of nine occasions so far this season? This leaves Lewis Hamilton in the spotlight, but it really should not. The media likes to raise question marks but, with Webber having got himself sorted out, McLaren is the only option for Hamilton. As Lewis said, long-term is the way to think; Ferrari is out of the question because of Alonso and Enstone’s Lotus has shown a number of peaks and troughs over the years.

It will be somewhat compelling to see who comes out on top this weekend. If the weather is anything like it was in 2003, when that scorcher of a summer helped Juan Pablo Montoya to an absolutely dominant victory for Williams, then Lotus could be the ones to watch out for. Between then, Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean have sealed five podium finishes so far this season; three came in the hot surroundings of Bahrain and Valencia, although those of Montreal and Silverstone were further proof of just how strong a base chassis that E20 is. I should also point out to further F1 trivia lovers that, after Britain, Grosjean is one of only two drivers to manage Q3 qualifying at all circuits so far this year. Hamilton is the other.

Let us not forget María de Villota, though. Her name may have disappeared from news bulletins as quickly as it got there, but María remains in hospital after losing her right eye in that freak testing accident. Marussia must be credited for their handling of the situation, not least how they broke the news that the car was not responsible for the incident; sadly, that had to be said to avoid a huge legal situation. It very much suggests that driver error caused the incident. The questions which remain unanswered are: was María driving too close to the team hospitality unit and the stationary truck, with its tail lift in the lowered position? Or should the truck have been parked there in the first place, tail lift down or not? The responses to those two queries will have huge relevance when it comes to apportioning blame but, at the end of the day, María remains in a bad way and our thoughts are still very much with you.

At a glance:
- Hockenheim pole position sitters
- Hockenheim Grand Prix winners

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The facts: Hockenheimring
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Laps 67

Direction Clockwise

Corners 17

Length 4.574 km / 2.842 mi

First championship race 1970

First winner Jochen Rindt – Lotus-Ford

Lap record 1:13.780 / K. Räikkönen / McLaren-Mercedes / 2004

Local start time 2pm (BST +1)

Slick Pirelli tyre compounds
Medium (white markings) & Soft (yellow markings)

DRS zone
Detection: Exit of Turn 4
Activation: 260 metres after Turn 4 until braking zone of Turn 6 Hairpin

FIA driver steward
Derek Warwick

2010 pole position sitter
Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault

2010 Grand Prix winner
Fernando Alonso – Ferrari
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Circuit changes for 2012
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- New, higher quality artificial grass has been installed on the exit of Turn 1; three metres in width, it has also been extended to make sure drivers who run wide must cross it again in order to rejoin the track (deterring corner-cutting)

- An additional row of conveyor belt has been installed after the first two rows on all six-row tyre barriers. This leaves a composition of: conveyor layer, two rows of tyres, a second conveyor, four rows of tyres and finally the wall

- All rubber will be removed from the drag strip, located on the outside of the final two corners, before the Grand Prix takes place
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Gregory Haines
GPUpdate.net Editor

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 5 February 2016

  2. 19:11

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Renault pays tribute to axed Maldonado 19:05

    Renault pays tribute to axed Maldonado

    Renault has paid tribute to Pastor Maldonado, thanking him for "two years of loyal service", after the Venezuelan lost his seat…

    F1
  4. Video: Renault's 115 years of passion 16:22

    Video: Renault's 115 years of passion

    Renault marks its works Formula 1 return with this reflection on its 115-year involvement in motorsport.

    F1
  5. Booth, Lowdon enter WEC as Manor 15:23

    Booth, Lowdon enter WEC as Manor

    John Booth and Graeme Lowdon have announced that they are to enter the 2016 World Endurance Championship, in the LMP2 category…

    Misc
  6. MotoGP to introduce stewards' panel 14:08

    MotoGP to introduce stewards' panel

    MotoGP is set to introduce a dedicated stewards' panel to make calls on rider actions, following the controversial incident…

    MotoGP
  7. Hill: Rosberg to be stronger in 2016 13:08

    Hill: Rosberg to be stronger in 2016

    Damon Hill reckons the disappointment of finishing championship runner-up over the past two seasons will make Nico Rosberg a…

    F1
  8. Vasseur thanks Mercedes for Ocon deal 12:02

    Vasseur thanks Mercedes for Ocon deal

    Renault's new Racing Director, Frédéric Vasseur, has thanked Mercedes for allowing affiliated driver Esteban Ocon to join the…

    F1
  9. Video: Stoll on Renault's new chapter 11:02

    Video: Stoll on Renault's new chapter

    Renault Sport President Jérôme Stoll overviews the French manufacturer's latest motorsport era.

    F1
  10. Bell: Enstone 'starved of resources' 10:32

    Bell: Enstone 'starved of resources'

    Bob Bell says he is excited to play a role in the latest Renault works Formula 1 team, as he returns to an Enstone factory that…

    F1
  11. Kobayashi takes Wurz's Toyota WEC seat 09:13

    Kobayashi takes Wurz's Toyota WEC seat

    Kamui Kobayashi has taken Alexander Wurz's Toyota LMP1 seat for the 2016 World Endurance Championship season, after the…

    Misc
  12. Video of the Day: Argentinian racing legends 05:26

    Video of the Day: Argentinian racing legends

    Ahead of this weekend's Buenos Aires ePrix, Formula E looks at the greatest Argentinian racers.

    Misc
  13. Thursday 4 February 2016

  14. News on Schumacher's health 'not good' 16:58

    News on Schumacher's health 'not good'

    News on the health of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher is "not good", his former Ferrari boss Luca di…

    F1
  15. Ex-Ferrari engineer Dyer joins Renault 15:50

    Ex-Ferrari engineer Dyer joins Renault

    Former Ferrari chief engineer Chris Dyer has joined the recruiting Renault works team as Head of Vehicle Performance Group, the…

    F1
  16. Nato completes Racing Engineering line-up 14:08

    Nato completes Racing Engineering line-up

    Norman Nato has joined Racing Engineering for the 2016 GP2 season, completing the team's line-up. French racer Nato, 23, made…

    GP2
  17. Palmer: 'Immense potential' at Renault 13:36

    Palmer: 'Immense potential' at Renault

    Jolyon Palmer says that he sees "immense potential" at Renault in the coming seasons, as the French manufacturer embarks on its…

    F1
  18. Video: Bell on Renault technical role 12:02

    Video: Bell on Renault technical role

    Bob Bell discusses his new role as Renault's Chief Technical Officer as the 2016 season approaches.

    F1
  19. Stoner surprised himself with test mileage 10:31

    Stoner surprised himself with test mileage

    Casey Stoner has admitted that he surprised himself with the amount of mileage he was able to complete at this week's opening…

    MotoGP
  20. Lorenzo praises Michelin after first test 10:00

    Lorenzo praises Michelin after first test

    Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has praised new MotoGP tyre supplier Michelin for the apparent improvements it has made to…

    MotoGP
  21. F1 set to scrap power unit token system 09:37

    F1 set to scrap power unit token system

    Formula 1 is set to scrap its controversial power unit token development system from the 2017 season, in the wake of recent…

    F1
  22. Head protection given green light for 2017 09:22

    Head protection given green light for 2017

    Formula 1 chiefs are reportedly planning to introduce driver head protection for the 2017 season, following the latest round of…

    F1
  23. Vasseur confident over Renault drivers 07:25

    Vasseur confident over Renault drivers

    Renault's Racing Director, Frédéric Vasseur, has backed Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer to live up to the expectations of…

    F1
  24. Video of the Day: Abiteboul on Renault return 05:22

    Video of the Day: Abiteboul on Renault return

    Renault's Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul, discusses the manufacturer's full-scale return to Formula 1.

    F1
  25. Wednesday 3 February 2016

  26. Toro Rosso STR11 passes crash tests 16:43

    Toro Rosso STR11 passes crash tests

    Toro Rosso has confirmed that its 2016 challenger, the Ferrari-powered STR11, has passed the FIA's mandatory crash tests…

    F1
  27. Jordá to stay on with Renault in 2016 16:29

    Jordá to stay on with Renault in 2016

    Carmen Jordá will play a role in Renault's new works Formula 1 team, the French manufacturer has confirmed, though her official…

    F1
  28. Video: Renault's works F1 team launch 16:12

    Video: Renault's works F1 team launch

    Relive the full presentation as Renault launches its Formula 1 programme for 2016 and beyond.

    F1
  29. Renault realistic over 2016 prospects 15:06

    Renault realistic over 2016 prospects

    Renault has vowed to stay realistic over its chances for the upcoming season, with the French manufacturer aware that it will…

    F1
  30. Magnussen 'can't believe' Renault chance 14:25

    Magnussen 'can't believe' Renault chance

    Kevin Magnussen says he "can't believe" that he will be racing for Renault in 2016 after concluding a last-minute deal with the…

    F1
  31. Rowland heads Renault Sport Academy 14:04

    Rowland heads Renault Sport Academy

    Reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland will head Renault's new young driver scheme in 2016, as it plots its return…

    F1
  32. Video: Frédéric Vasseur on Renault role 13:28

    Video: Frédéric Vasseur on Renault role

    Frédéric Vasseur, former ART junior team boss, discusses his new role as Renault's Racing Director.

    F1
  33. 13:02

    Photos: Renault launch presentation

    F1
  34. Renault presents new F1 car and livery 12:54

    Renault presents new F1 car and livery

    Renault has become the first team to present its car for the upcoming Formula 1 season, pulling the covers off a…

    F1
  35. Renault signs Ocon as reserve driver 12:51

    Renault signs Ocon as reserve driver

    Reigning GP3 champion Esteban Ocon has been appointed as Renault's official test and reserve driver for the upcoming Formula 1…

    F1
  36. Renault confirms Magnussen for 2016 12:43

    Renault confirms Magnussen for 2016

    Renault has formally announced that ex-McLaren racer Kevin Magnussen will make a return to the Formula 1 grid with the…

    F1
  37. Vasseur appointed Renault Racing Director 12:41

    Vasseur appointed Renault Racing Director

    Renault has announced that it has signed ART Grand Prix boss Frédéric Vasseur as its new Racing Director ahead of its comeback…

    F1
  38. Video: What's new in Formula 1 for 2016? 11:32

    Video: What's new in Formula 1 for 2016?

    Mercedes Executive Director (Technical) Paddy Lowe overviews what's new in Formula 1 for 2016.

    F1
  39. 10:26

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sepang test - Day 3

    MotoGP
  40. Lorenzo fastest as opening test ends 10:23

    Lorenzo fastest as opening test ends

    Jorge Lorenzo posted the quickest time on the third and final day of the first pre-season test at Malaysian Grand Prix venue…

    MotoGP
  41. Honda extends IndyCar deal through 2017 08:54

    Honda extends IndyCar deal through 2017

    Honda has signed to stay on as an engine supplier in IndyCar until at least the end of 2017. Honda has supplied the American…

    Indy
  42. Video of the Day: Ricciardo vs Bath Rugby 05:12

    Video of the Day: Ricciardo vs Bath Rugby

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo takes on the Bath Rugby team in a special scrum challenge.

    F1
  43. Tuesday 2 February 2016

  44. Stoner to continue testing on Wednesday 16:44

    Stoner to continue testing on Wednesday

    Casey Stoner will continue to test with Ducati on the third and final day of the opening pre-season gathering in Malaysia on…

    MotoGP
more news