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. Wednesday 17 January 2018

  2. Video: Jenson Button vlog: From LA to Tokyo 13:48

    Video: Jenson Button vlog: From LA to Tokyo

    Catch up with Jenson Button in his latest vlog entry as he jets from Los Angeles to Tokyo for the launch of Honda's Super GT…

    Misc
  3. Kari stays in GP3, switches to MP Motorsport 10:06

    Kari stays in GP3, switches to MP Motorsport

    Niko Kari will continue in the GP3 Series this year, having switched from Arden to category newcomers MP Motorsport. Formula…

    GP3
  4. Tuesday 16 January 2018

  5. Fenestraz joins Carlin for Formula 3 campaign 13:54

    Fenestraz joins Carlin for Formula 3 campaign

    Formula Renault champion Sacha Fenestraz will contest this year's European Formula 3 Championship with Carlin. Fenestraz…

    F3
  6. Kubica gets development role with Williams 11:32

    Kubica gets development role with Williams

    Robert Kubica has landed a role as Williams' reserve and development driver for 2018, which will involve test and practice runs…

    F1
  7. Williams confirms Sirotkin for 2018 seat 11:18

    Williams confirms Sirotkin for 2018 seat

    Williams has announced that Sergey Sirotkin will partner Lance Stroll for the 2018 campaign, with Robert Kubica, on the comeback…

    F1
  8. Video: Rosberg's Twitter Q&A with fans 08:42

    Video: Rosberg's Twitter Q&A with fans

    2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg responds to a variety of questions posed by fans on Twitter.

    F1
  9. Monday 15 January 2018

  10. Aitken secures Formula 2 step with ART GP 18:30

    Aitken secures Formula 2 step with ART GP

    Renault junior driver Jack Aitken will graduate to Formula 2 with ART Grand Prix this season, the French team has…

    F2
  11. Chaves unconcerned by one-car Harding entry 16:58

    Chaves unconcerned by one-car Harding entry

    Gabby Chaves has played down suggestions that Harding's one-car effort could prove to be disadvantageous, pointing to the…

    Indy
  12. Bird feared Marrakesh retirement amid issues 15:10

    Bird feared Marrakesh retirement amid issues

    DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird feared mechanical gremlins would force him out of the Marrakesh ePrix, as he collected a podium…

    FE
  13. Ducati launches its 2018 programme, livery 11:52

    Ducati launches its 2018 programme, livery

    Ducati has become the first team to launch its 2018 MotoGP programme, taking the wraps off its Desmosedici GP at its Bologna…

    MotoGP
  14. Ticktum heads 2018 Red Bull junior line-up 10:16

    Ticktum heads 2018 Red Bull junior line-up

    Red Bull has announced its junior programme line-up for 2018, with Macau Grand Prix victor Dan Ticktum leading the six-driver…

    F1
  15. Racing legend and pioneer Gurney passes away 09:08

    Racing legend and pioneer Gurney passes away

    American racing legend Dan Gurney has passed away aged 86, his family has announced, due to complications arising from…

    F1
  16. Video: Formula E drivers react to Marrakesh 09:02

    Video: Formula E drivers react to Marrakesh

    Formula E drivers offer their three-word reaction to the Marrakesh ePrix, after varying fortunes up and down the grid at the…

    FE
  17. Sunday 14 January 2018

  18. Audi's Müller tops Formula E's rookie test 18:20

    Audi's Müller tops Formula E's rookie test

    Audi's Nico Müller clocked record pace as he comfortably topped Formula E's one-day rookie test in Morocco. Formula E…

    FE
  19. Buemi: Fanboost issue contributed to defeat 15:56

    Buemi: Fanboost issue contributed to defeat

    Sébastien Buemi pinpointed an issue with Fanboost as a contributing factor to his defeat at the Marrakesh ePrix. Buemi…

    FE
  20. Rosenqvist hails Mahindra, plays down title lead 13:08

    Rosenqvist hails Mahindra, plays down title lead

    Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist praised his squad for a pre-race battery change at the Marrakesh ePrix, which he went on to win, and…

    FE
  21. Pirelli: F1 unlikely to return to tyre competition 11:24

    Pirelli: F1 unlikely to return to tyre competition

    Pirelli Racing Manager Mario Isola says he doubts that Formula 1 will ever return to competition between two tyre manufacturers…

    F1
  22. Video: Marrakesh E-Prix race highlights 07:47

    Video: Marrakesh E-Prix race highlights

    Watch race highlights from the Marrakesh E-Prix, the third round of the 2017/18 Formula E championship.

    FE
  23. Saturday 13 January 2018

  24. Rosenqvist overhauls Buemi for Marrakesh win 17:03

    Rosenqvist overhauls Buemi for Marrakesh win

    Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist made it back-to-back victories as he overhauled long-time race leader Sébastien Buemi to triumph at…

    FE
  25. Harding confirms Chaves for full 2018 season 14:06

    Harding confirms Chaves for full 2018 season

    Gabby Chaves will return to the IndyCar grid full-time in 2018 after completing a deal to drive for Harding Racing. Harding…

    Indy
  26. Video: Marrakesh E-Prix qualifying highlights 13:38

    Video: Marrakesh E-Prix qualifying highlights

    Watch highlights from qualifying for the third round of the 2017/18 Formula E championship in Marrakesh

    FE
  27. Fukuzumi gets Arden F2 and Mugen SF seats 11:58

    Fukuzumi gets Arden F2 and Mugen SF seats

    Nirei Fukuzumi will embark on a dual campaign in Formula 2 with Arden International and in Super Formula with Team Mugen in…

    F2
  28. Video: Formula E drivers preview Marrakesh 10:18

    Video: Formula E drivers preview Marrakesh

    Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Buemi, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Felix Rosenqvist preview the third round of the Formula E championship…

    FE
  29. Puig appointed Repsol Honda Team Manager 09:42

    Puig appointed Repsol Honda Team Manager

    Repsol Honda has appointed Alberto Puig as its new Team Manager, following the resignation of Livio Suppo. Suppo announced…

    MotoGP
  30. Video: Marrakesh ePrix virtual lap with Lynn 08:44

    Video: Marrakesh ePrix virtual lap with Lynn

    Ride onboard with DS Virgin Racing's Alex Lynn for a virtual lap of the Marrakesh Street Circuit, ahead of Saturday's third…

    FE
  31. Friday 12 January 2018

  32. Brown expects 'substantial' gains with Renault 11:02

    Brown expects 'substantial' gains with Renault

    McLaren chief Zak Brown says the operation can expect a "substantial difference" in performance this season amid its alliance…

    F1
  33. Airbags compulsory in MotoGP from 2018 10:32

    Airbags compulsory in MotoGP from 2018

    Riders' race suits, across all classes within the MotoGP World Championship, must be fitted with airbag systems from the 2018…

    MotoGP
  34. Zhou stays with Prema for third F3 season 09:00

    Zhou stays with Prema for third F3 season

    Ferrari-backed Guanyu Zhou will continue with Prema in the European Formula 3 championship in 2018, marking his third season in…

    F3
  35. Video: What inspires Bottas' helmet designs? 07:12

    Video: What inspires Bottas' helmet designs?

    Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas talks about what he looks for in a helmet design after asking fans to design his lid for the…

    F1
  36. Thursday 11 January 2018

  37. Pirelli reveals compounds for Azerbaijan GP 16:09

    Pirelli reveals compounds for Azerbaijan GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed its compound selections for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Pirelli will expand its…

    F1
  38. Video: FE drivers look ahead to Marrakesh 13:58

    Video: FE drivers look ahead to Marrakesh

    Following the festive break, Formula E drivers look ahead to this weekend's third round of the Formula E championship around the…

    FE
  39. 11:44

    Overview: Confirmed 2018 F1 driver line-ups

    F1
  40. Video: McLaren previews Grand Prix Driver 11:15

    Video: McLaren previews Grand Prix Driver

    McLaren teamed up with Amazon Prime to produce a documentary charting its 2017 campaign; watch the official trailer for the…

    F1
  41. Gasly hopes STR can maximise testing time 09:46

    Gasly hopes STR can maximise testing time

    Pierre Gasly believes Toro Rosso-Honda must ensure it establishes a reliable base early on, in order to maximise track time…

    F1
  42. Video: Bottas' helmet design inspiration 09:14

    Video: Bottas' helmet design inspiration

    With applications for Valtteri Bottas' helmet competition still open, the three-time Grand Prix winner explains the idea behind…

    F1
  43. Wednesday 10 January 2018

  44. Kvyat to become Ferrari development driver 13:16

    Kvyat to become Ferrari development driver

    Daniil Kvyat has agreed a deal to become Ferrari's development driver ahead of the 2018 season, the team has announced…

    F1
  45. Video: Billy Monger back behind the wheel 12:49

    Video: Billy Monger back behind the wheel

    Billy Monger, who lost both his lower legs following a Formula 4 crash in April 2017, is back behind the wheel as he prepares to…

    Misc
  46. Video: Best FE team radio from Hong Kong 10:02

    Video: Best FE team radio from Hong Kong

    Formula E presents the most dramatic team radio clips from Hong Kong, where the fourth season of the all-electric championship…

    FE
  47. FE expects to be only series left by 2040 09:26

    FE expects to be only series left by 2040

    Formula E chief Alejandro Agag reckons the series could be the only viable championship left by 2040, overtaking Formula 1 in…

    FE
  48. Video: Häkkinen tackles Laguna Seca in M23 09:02

    Video: Häkkinen tackles Laguna Seca in M23

    Double Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen tackles the Laguna Seca circuit in McLaren's M23; join the Finn and ride onboard…

    F1
more news