The Big Preview: German Grand Prix

German Grand Prix grid girls

German Grand Prix grid girls

Following an enthralling grand prix at Silverstone, the 2014 Formula One season this weekend reaches its midpoint, with round 10 of the championship – the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

The Hockenheimring presents teams with a number of tricky challenges, especially in terms of this year’s new technology. While the long, power hungry, forest straights of the old circuit were consigned to history in 2002, the current layout, which see the cars reach over 280 km/h on three occasions in the opening section alone, continues to provide a stern test for powerplants.

In F1’s last outing here in 2012 drivers were at full throttle for two-thirds of every lap, meaning that power units are likely to be severely tested here.

Fuel consumption could also be a concern this year. Not only are cars at full throttle for long periods but the heavy braking needed for the hairpin and the twisty nature of the infield section mean that the circuit is a thirsty one. With drivers limited to 100 kg of fuel for the race and a flow limit of 100 kg/hour, clever race management could be crucial this weekend.

2013 German Grand Prix podium

2013 German Grand Prix podium

That shouldn’t mean a lack of excitement, however. The track has two inviting overtaking points at the hairpin (Turn Six) and Turn Eight and with two DRS zones in place at the circuit for the first time, this year’s grand prix could prove to be action-packed.

As the season reaches the halfway mark, the battle for the drivers’ title is delicately balanced. Lewis Hamilton’s win on home soil in Britain brought him to within four points of team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg. The German will be hoping to emulate his team-mate’s Silverstone feat and re-establish a gap at the top of the standings with a home win for himself and Mercedes.

Hamilton, buoyed by his fifth victory of the season will be doing everything in his power to claim that home Silver Arrows’ win for himself.

Hockenheim from the air

Hockenheim from the air

Hockenheimring Circuit Data

  • Length of lap 5.574 km
  • Lap record 1:13.780 (Kimi Räikkönen, McLaren, 2004)
  • Total number of race laps 67
  • Total race distance 306.458 km
  • Pitlane speed limits 80 km/h in Practice, Qualifying and the Race
  • A one-metre wide strip of Grasscrete has been laid next to the track surface on the approach to Turn One.
  • In order to prevent further damage to the grass verge at Turn 15, a 50 mm high combination kerb has been laid behind the kerb on the apex.
  • Drainage has now been provided in the drag strip around the outside of Turn 17, This should prevent the accumulation of water there.
  • There will be two DRS zones. The detection point of the first is 110 m before Turn One, with the activation point 60 m after Turn One. The second detection point is at the exit of Turn Four, with the activation point 260 m after Turn Four.
Michael Schumacher has won more German Grands Prix than any other driver

Michael Schumacher has won more German Grands Prix than any other driver

German Grand Prix Fast Facts:

  • This will be the 61st German Grand Prix of the Formula One Championship era.
  • It will be the 34th time the race has been run at Hockenheim. Two other circuits have hosted the grand prix. The Nürburgring has staged the race 26 times across a number of periods (1951-’54, 1956-’58, 1961-’69, 1971-’76, 1985 and in alternate years from 2009 onwards). The only other venue for the race was Berlin’s AVUS circuit, which hosted a single grand prix, in 1959. That race is unique in that the grand prix was run as two heats, with victory awarded on aggregate performance. It resulted in an all-Ferrari podium, with Briton Tony Brooks victorious ahead of Americans Dan Gurney and Phil Hill.
  • Hockenheim made its Formula One calendar debut on August 2, 1970. The race had been switched to the Baden-Württemberg circuit due to safety concerns about the Nürburging and was won by Jochen Rindt. It was his final F1 win before his tragic death, five weeks later, in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
  • When Niki Lauda’s crash at the Nürburging brought to an end the Nordschleife’s time as a German Grand Prix venue, Hockenheim took over, hosting the race from 1977-1984 and then in an unbroken run from 1986 until 2006. No German GP was held in 2007 and when the race returned in 2008, Hockenheim staged the first race of an event-sharing agreement with the Nürburgring.
  • Michael Schumacher has the most German GP wins, all coming at Hockenheim (1995 for Benetton and in 2002, 2004 and 2006 for Ferrari). Five drivers have won this event three times: Juan Manuel Fangio, Jackie Stewart, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Fernando Alonso.
  • Despite the race-sharing agreement of the past seven years, all three of Alonso’s German victories have come at the Hockenheimring. He took his first here with Renault in 2005 and won for Ferrari in 2010 and 2012.
  • Lewis Hamilton is the only other multiple winner in the current F1 driver line-up. He won here in 2008 and at the Nürburgring in 2011.
  • Only three German drivers have won their home grand prix. As mentioned, Michael Schumacher won four times. His brother Ralf took victory for Williams-BMW in 2001 and Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel won at home, at the sixth attempt, last year.
  • German drivers have, however, won a total of 148 F1 grands prix. Michael Schumacher’s 91 wins are complemented by wins for Wolfgang von Trips (2); Jochen Mass (1); Heinz-Harald Frentzen (3); Ralf Schumacher (6), Sebastian Vettel (39) and Nico Rosberg (6).
  • Since the debut of the redesigned circuit in 2002, Hockenheim has staged the race eight times. Five have been won from pole position. The 2006 and 2010 events were won from second and just one win has been scored from off the front row – Alonso, from third in 2005.
German fans have their favourites

German fans have their favourites

Reuters Facts & Statistics:

  • Last year’s race was at the Nurburgring.
  • Lap distance: 4.574 km, Total distance: 306.458 km, 67 laps.
  • 2012 pole (Hockenheim): Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari, One minute 40.621 seconds
  • 2012 winner (Hockenheim): Alonso
  • Lap record: Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) McLaren 1:13.780, 2004.
  • Start time: 1200 GMT (1400 local)
  • Tyres: Soft (Yellow), Super-soft (Red)
  • Mercedes have won all but one race so far this season. The exception was Canada, won by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
  • Red Bull’s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel has 39 career wins, Fernando Alonso 32, Lewis Hamilton 27, Kimi Raikkonen 20 and Jenson Button 15. Championship leader Nico Rosberg has six.
  • Hamilton’s victory at Silverstone took him level with triple champion Jackie Stewart in the all-time list of winners. The only British driver to have won more is 1992 champion Nigel Mansell (31).
  • Ferrari have won 221 races, McLaren 182, Williams 114 and Red Bull 48. Mercedes have won 21.
  • McLaren have not won for 28 races, a run that dates back to Brazil 2012.
  • Ferrari’s last victory was in Spain in May 2013 – the last time a team other than Mercedes or Red Bull won.
  • Mercedes and Williams are the only teams to have started a race on pole position this year.
  • Hamilton (Australia / Malaysia / China / Spain) and Rosberg (Bahrain / Monaco / Canada / Britain) have four poles each for the season so far. Brazilian Felipe Massa was on pole for Williams in Austria.
  • Vettel has 45 career poles. Hamilton has 35 – more than any other British driver in the history of Formula One.
  • Ferrari’s last pole was in Germany with Alonso in 2012.
  • Caterham, who came into the sport in 2010, are the only team on the grid who have yet to score a point.
  • Ferrari have finished a record 76 successive races with at least one car in the points, a run that dates back to the 2010 German Grand Prix.
  • Rosberg’s retirement at Silverstone means that only two drivers have now scored points in every race this season – Alonso and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.
  • Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat is Formula One’s youngest point scorer aged 19 years and 324 days.
  • Sunday will be the 61st German Grand Prix since 1950, and 34th at Hockenheim.
  • Alonso has won the last two grands prix at Hockenheim (2012 and 2010) and was also the winner in 2005 with Renault. Hamilton won in 2008.
  • Germany has four current drivers – Vettel, Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and Adrian Sutil.
  • Vettel is the last German driver to have won at home (at the Nurburgring in 2013).
  • The last time a works Mercedes team won the German Grand Prix was at the Nurburgring in 1954 with Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel.
  • Three German drivers have won the German Grand Prix since the championship started in 1950 – Michael and Ralf Schumacher and Vettel. Michael Schumacher won four times, once with Benetton and three times with Ferrari.
  • The last German to win his home grand prix in a German car was Rudolf Caracciola in 1939 for Mercedes. Ralf Schumacher won for Williams in 2001 when they had BMW engines.
  • Five of the eight races to date at the redesigned Hockenheim (since 2002) have been won from pole. Only once has the winner started from behind the front row (Alonso from third in 2005).
  • Germany marks the half-way point in the championship, the 10th race of 19 this season.

Fernando Alonso won the last German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in 2012

German Grand Prix Race Stewards:

  • Garry Connelly has been involved in motor sport since the late 1960s. A long-time rally competitor, Connelly was instrumental in bringing the World Rally Championship to Australia in 1988 and served as Chairman of the Organising Committee, Board member and Clerk of Course of Rally Australia until December 2002. He has been an FIA Steward and FIA Observer since 1989, covering the FIA’s World Rally Championship, World Touring Car Championship and Formula One Championship. He is a director of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety and a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.
  • Italian-born Vincenzo Spano grew up in Venezuela, where he went on to study at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, becoming an attorney-at-law. Spano has wide-ranging experience in motor sport, from national to international level. He has worked for the Touring y Automóvil Club de Venezuela since 1991, and served as President of the Sporting Commission since 2001. He was president for two terms and now sits as a member of the Board of the Nacam-FIA zone. Since 1995 Spano has been a licenced steward and obtained his FIA steward super-licence in 2003.Spano has been involved with the FIA and FIA Institute in various roles since 2001: a member of the World Motor Sport Council, the FIA Committee, and the executive committee of the FIA Institute.
  • Born in Bavaria in 1946, Jochen Mass graduated to Formula One after winning the 1972 European Touring Car Championship. He made his grand prix debut for Team Surtees at the 1973 British Grand Prix. In total he made 104 grands prix start between 1973 and 1982, racing for teams such as McLaren, ATS, Arrows and March. He secured eight podium finishes and one victory, at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix. After calling time on his F1 career, Mass made a successful switch to endurance racing, winning the 1985 Circuito del Mugello 1000km and the 1987 12 Hours of Sebring, alongside Bobby Rahal. His 1989 Le Mans win ranks as the high point of his career in sportscars as he secured just the second win for Mercedes at the race, the previous one being in 1952. (F1 Media)


Thursday, July 17 1500 hrs
Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
Kevin Magnussen (McLaren)
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
Adrian Sutil (Sauber)
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
Friday, July 18 1600 hrs
Cyril Abiteboul (Renault Sport)
Christijan Albers (Caterham)
John Booth (Marussia)
Federico Gastaldi (Lotus)
Paul Hembery (Pirelli)
Toto Wolff (Mercedes)
Saturday, July 19 Post Qualifying * Three fastest Drivers from Qualifying
Sunday, July 20 Post Race * First three finishing Drivers