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. Saturday 24 June 2017

  2. Leclerc extends lead with commanding win 11:09

    Leclerc extends lead with commanding win

    Prema' Charles Leclerc took his third win of the Formula 2 season in the Baku Feature Race to extend his championship lead to 22…

    F2
  3. 11:07

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Saturday in Baku

    F1
  4. Mercedes' Russell given Hungary test 10:43

    Mercedes' Russell given Hungary test

    Mercedes protégé George Russell will carry out in-season testing for the manufacturer in Hungary. Russell joined Mercedes…

    F1
  5. 10:43

    Follow final practice for the Azerbaijan GP!

    F1
  6. Alonso's grid penalty now up to 40 places 10:31

    Alonso's grid penalty now up to 40 places

    McLaren-Honda has confirmed that Fernando Alonso's grid penalty for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is now up to 40 places, after…

    F1
  7. Video: Kanaan Visor Cam at Road America 10:16

    Video: Kanaan Visor Cam at Road America

    Ride onboard with Tony Kanaan during IndyCar practice for the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America.

    Indy
  8. Redding tops wet third session at Assen 09:54

    Redding tops wet third session at Assen

    Pramac's Scott Redding clocked the quickest time during a rain-hit third practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  9. Kerb shortened at Turn 8 after incidents 09:39

    Kerb shortened at Turn 8 after incidents

    Modifications have been made at and around Turn 8 of the Baku City Circuit after incidents during Friday practice for the…

    F1
  10. Renault's Baku gains worth 0.2s per lap 09:32

    Renault's Baku gains worth 0.2s per lap

    Renault's engine upgrades introduced for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix have led to a gain of 0.2s per lap, according to…

    F1
  11. Boullier: McLaren/Honda friction exaggerated 08:04

    Boullier: McLaren/Honda friction exaggerated

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says that the "friction" between the team and power unit partner Honda has been…

    F1
  12. Sauber hopes to announce new boss 'soon' 07:12

    Sauber hopes to announce new boss 'soon'

    Sauber should be in a position to announce a new Team Principal "soon", following Monisha Kaltenborn's exit, according to Team…

    F1
  13. Video of the Day: Dixon meets young fan 05:38

    Video of the Day: Dixon meets young fan

    Scott Dixon visits a young fan, called Lucy, who wrote him a letter after his accident at the Indy 500.

    Indy
  14. Friday 23 June 2017

  15. 17:32

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Friday in Baku

    F1
  16. Hamilton says he has 'lots of work to do' 17:23

    Hamilton says he has 'lots of work to do'

    Lewis Hamilton says he and Mercedes have "lots of work to do" following a difficult first day of practice for the Azerbaijan…

    F1
  17. Verstappen describes 'very weird' crash 16:56

    Verstappen describes 'very weird' crash

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has labelled his crash in the closing stages of Friday's second practice session for the…

    F1
  18. Renault rejects Kubica Italy FP1 rumours 16:31

    Renault rejects Kubica Italy FP1 rumours

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul has shot down rumours linking Robert Kubica to a Friday practice outing at September's…

    F1
  19. 16:10

    Latest Formula 2 photos: Friday in Baku

    F2
  20. Leclerc dedicates F2 pole to late father 15:58

    Leclerc dedicates F2 pole to late father

    Formula 2 championship leader Charles Leclerc dedicated his pole position for the Baku Feature Race to his father, Hervé, who…

    F2
  21. 15:36

    Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  22. Verstappen fastest in FP2 before crashing 15:34

    Verstappen fastest in FP2 before crashing

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen again set the pace during second practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, before crashing out at…

    F1
  23. 14:19

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Assen

    MotoGP
  24. Viñales moves ahead in second practice 14:10

    Viñales moves ahead in second practice

    Championship leader Maverick Viñales vaulted to the top of the times during the second practice session for the Dutch Grand…

    MotoGP
  25. 13:44

    Follow second practice for the Azerbaijan GP!

    F1
  26. Red Bull rules out signing Alonso for '18 13:26

    Red Bull rules out signing Alonso for '18

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has ruled out signing Fernando Alonso, insisting that both Daniel Ricciardo and Max…

    F1
  27. Leclerc breezes to fourth straight F2 pole 12:53

    Leclerc breezes to fourth straight F2 pole

    Ferrari protégé and Formula 2 title leader Charles Leclerc bounced back from Monaco disappointment and difficult personal…

    F2
  28. Alonso, Vandoorne get initial 15-place drops 12:09

    Alonso, Vandoorne get initial 15-place drops

    McLaren-Honda pair Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne have both initially landed 15-place grid penalties for the Azerbaijan…

    F1
  29. 11:36

    Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  30. Verstappen heads Red Bull 1-2 in FP1 11:33

    Verstappen heads Red Bull 1-2 in FP1

    Max Verstappen led team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in a Red Bull 1-2 during first practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as Sergio…

    F1
  31. 10:26

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  32. Petrucci tops disrupted FP1 at Assen 10:21

    Petrucci tops disrupted FP1 at Assen

    Pramac's Danilo Petrucci led the way during a closely-contested, delayed first practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  33. 09:42

    Follow first practice for the Azerbaijan GP!

    F1
  34. Ericsson: Inequality rumours 'disrespectful' 08:48

    Ericsson: Inequality rumours 'disrespectful'

    Marcus Ericsson has labelled suggestions that he is receiving preferential treatment over Sauber team-mate Pascal Wehrlein as…

    F1
  35. Hamilton: Bottas has earned 2018 stay 08:34

    Hamilton: Bottas has earned 2018 stay

    Lewis Hamilton believes that new team-mate Valtteri Bottas has proven that he has "earned his place" at Mercedes for the…

    F1
  36. Aleshin working to resolve visa issues 08:10

    Aleshin working to resolve visa issues

    Mikhail Aleshin is in a race against time to compete at this weekend's Kohler Grand Prix at Road America, amid visa issues, with…

    Indy
  37. Grosjean feels in 'good position' for Ferrari 07:12

    Grosjean feels in 'good position' for Ferrari

    Haas driver Romain Grosjean believes that he is in a "good position" to claim a seat at Ferrari for the 2018 season, should a…

    F1
  38. Video of the Day: Prost back in Monaco 05:34

    Video of the Day: Prost back in Monaco

    Alain Prost recently returned to Monaco's streets as he tested the Renault ZOE e-Sport Concept.

    FE
  39. Thursday 22 June 2017

  40. 17:36

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Thursday in Baku

    F1
  41. Smith poised to return from injury at TT 17:32

    Smith poised to return from injury at TT

    Bradley Smith says he is ready to return to action at this weekend's Dutch TT, having sat out the previous race at the Circuit…

    MotoGP
  42. Ocon 'all good' with Pérez after tension 17:22

    Ocon 'all good' with Pérez after tension

    Esteban Ocon says he has cleared the air with Force India team-mate Sergio Pérez off the back of a tense situation at the…

    F1
  43. Baku track gets second DRS detection point 16:02

    Baku track gets second DRS detection point

    A second DRS detection point has been added to the Baku City Circuit for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The two DRS…

    F1
more news