2010 German Grand Prix Preview

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Round 11 - Hockenheimring

Summary
After a year's absence due to the rotation agreement with the Nürburgring, Hockenheim once again hosts the Großer Preis von Deutschland.

The circuit in Baden-Württemberg has seen many changes since the Nazis used it for testing pre-war Mercedes and Auto Union behemoths. The original high-speed loop through the woods was broken up by chicanes relatively early in life, but still saw slipstreaming battles raging around the long lap and into the 'stadium' section, whose concrete grandstands still accommodate up to 120,000 flag- and flare-wielding fans.

The 2000 race saw a dramatic first victory for Rubens Barrichello after a disgruntled former Mercedes employee ventured onto the forest section of track and triggered a Safety Car period that was deeply inconvenient for his former employers. In 2002, perhaps not coincidentally, a much revised Hockenheim was unveiled, with the flat-out blasts through the forest short-cutted by a new link section designed by Hermann Tilke.

The new layout has produced some dramatic races, not least the last event in 2008, when Lewis Hamilton was delayed by a strategic error from the McLaren team and fought back in fine style, passing Felipe Massa and Nelson Piquet Jr. to take the victory. The revised circuit demands high levels of downforce, consistent tyre grip for traction in the slower corners and a setup that is responsive to sudden direction changes.

The overall finishing rate at Hockenheim is around the average for this year's circuits.
The likelihood of a driver-related retirement is slightly below average.
Mechanical failures at Hockenheim are consistent with the mean of other current tracks.
Finally, the circuit ranks as slightly below average for first-lap retirements in the past five years.

The Last Five Years
2005201810018 - Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren)
2006221462113 - Jarno Trulli (Toyota)
2007------
2008201712015 - Nelsinho Piquet (Renault)
2009------
Overall6249841
[td]Year[/td][td]Starters[/td][td]Finishers[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Lap 1 retirements[/td][td]Most places gained[/td]

Circuit Ranking (of all 18 circuits)
Finishing Rate
...
8th Sakhir 80%
9th Hockenheim 79%
10th Spa 78%
...

Mechanical Failures
...
6th= Melbourne 13%
6th= Sepang 13%
8th Hockenheim 13%
9th Spa 11%
...

Driver-related Retirements
...
13th Istanbul 8%
14th Hockenheim 6%
15th Valencia 5%
...

First lap Retirements
...
12th Suzuka 1.6%
13th Hockenheim 1.6%
14th Monza 1.0%
...

With the German race only having been held once at Hockenheim in the three previous seasons, some leading drivers have recorded surprisingly few starts at the venue. While Robert Kubica and Lewis Hamilton may need a little familiarisation time, local hero Sebastian Vettel is unlikely to be so disadvantaged. Jenson Button has a good record at Hockenheim, having consistently got his car to the finish and scoring points despite starting from some lowly grid slots. Fernando Alonso has also done well, finishing six times out of six. Hispania new boy Sakon Yamamoto is returning to the scene of his Grand Prix debut, four years ago for Super Aguri.

Home advantage seems to have been a burden for McLaren and Mercedes over the past decade, their cars being notably unreliable mechanically, and unusually outscored overall by the Renault team as well as arch-rivals Ferrari. Williams scored two victories in the early part of the decade with BMW power. Of the rest, Red Bull will certainly be expecting to at least double their paltry six-point haul, while the Sauber team (then under BMW ownership) struggled at Hockenheim in 2008 in what was otherwise a strong season.

Current Drivers' Records at Hockenheim
Michael Schumacher14111st (4)67213.71
Fernando Alonso661st (1)25008.17
Jenson Button872nd (1)251012.13
Rubens Barrichello1561st (1)21639.93
Felipe Massa552nd (1)15009.6
Jarno Trulli1183rd (1)11319.18
Lewis Hamilton111st (1)10001
Heikki Kovalainen115th (1)4003
Mark Webber626th (1)33111.33
Robert Kubica117th (1)2007
Pedro de la Rosa516th (1)12212.6
Sebastian Vettel118th (1)1009
Vitantonio Liuzzi1110th (1)00016
Nico Rosberg2110th (1)00113.5
Adrian Sutil1115th (1)00019
Timo Glock10Ret (1)01011
Sakon Yamamoto10Ret (1)01021
Jaime Alguersuari0------
Sebastien Buemi0------
Lucas di Grassi0------
Nico Hulkenberg0------
Kamui Kobayashi0------
Vitaly Petrov0------
Bruno Senna0------
[td]Driver[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]

Chassis Records at Hockenheim (since 2000)
Ferrari16131st (4)70125.25
Renault16121st (1)52228.13
McLaren1691st (1)51525.25
Williams16111st (2)39227.56
Mercedes GP16112nd (1)253210.44
BMW Sauber16104th (1)112412.88
Red Bull1696th (1)66211.56
Toro Rosso15118th (1)14018.47
Force India1688th (1)05215.38
Hispania0------
Lotus0------
Virgin0------
[td]Chassis[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Renault include Benetton
Results for Mercedes GP include BAR, Honda and Brawn
Results for BMW Sauber include Sauber
Results for Red Bull include Jaguar
Results for Toro Rosso include Minardi
Results for Force India include Jordan, Midland and Spyker


Engine Records at Hockenheim (since 2000)
Ferrari36281st (4)77269.53
Renault16131st (1)52218.63
Mercedes-Benz1691st (1)51525.25
Cosworth28156th (1)511414.79
[td]Engine[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Ferrari include Petronas and Acer
Results for Cosworth include Ford


All ranking figures are expressed as a % of total starts.
"Retirements-Acc" are retirements where the reason has been listed as Collision, Accident or Spun Off.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
All the circuit forecasts are embedded in each circuit page FB.

This is the Hockenheim one for example:


Holding CTRL and clicking on the "More detailed weather" link will take you to an in depth 5 day forecast.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
Cheers for the info as always G.

Think the tyre strategy here will be a real bore, can see the supersofts being so much quicker than the hards that again qualifying on the option will be the norm with a quick change to the primes that could probably last for 2 GPs. It will be interesting to see just how slow the hards will be if the track is cold though. Could easily see some drivers struggling to get heat into them.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I agree MD, if it turns out to be a thriller it's unlikely to be the tyres that will be responsible. Hockenheim is usually pretty warm - average high of 25C as compared to 20C for the Nurburgring - which, combined with the sequences of medium speed corners, ought to be ok for switching on the hard compounds (I should think).

I'm interested to know how we're feeling about this circuit now. It's had time to bed in, and despite it (obviously) not being as good as what it replaced, I must confess to rather liking the changes. We get a lot of side-by-side racing into and out of the hairpin, and even overtaking at the silly little Mercedes Arena section that follows.

I think Tilke did a good job given the brief he had to work to.
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
I'm not so sure about it being boring tyre wise, quite the opposite in fact. After Montreal, the Bridgestone guy was asked whether we'd ever see another race like that for tyre strategy.

Plus the weather report from Ian Fergusson said it could be quite cold!

The Bridgestone guy said Hockenheim would be the one track very similar to that.

James Allen agrees : http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2010/07/i ... german-gp/

I think we'll get a good race here, dry or wet.

As for the track, I like it. It's not to it's former glories but it's what I like to describe as a solid, workmanlike track. We need more tracks like this that provide good racing almost year on year. Plus it has fantastic support.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Galahad said:
I'm interested to know how we're feeling about this circuit now. It's had time to bed in, and despite it (obviously) not being as good as what it replaced, I must confess to rather liking the changes. We get a lot of side-by-side racing into and out of the hairpin, and even overtaking at the silly little Mercedes Arena section that follows.

I think Tilke did a good job given the brief he had to work to.

I agree with you G, it's the best compromise between the old circuit and the new. In it's old configuration it was a unique track that presented an unusual challenge to both the car and the driver where as now it's just another circuit. From what I understand though, it's a great place to watch racing with the original stadium section seating over 100000 fans being more like a football stadium than an F1 track.

Sadly there can't be any return to the old format as it's supposedly been ripped up and re-planted with trees. The effect of which has been to leave the simple wooden cross memorial at the site where Jim Clark lost his life, in the middle of a forest. The memorial stone that was at the site has been moved though.
 

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
It is such a shame that there can be no return to the old Hockenheim circuit. The long runs and the tight chicanes... :disappointed:

cider_and_toast said:
The effect of which has been to leave the simple wooden cross memorial at the site where Jim Clark lost his life, in the middle of a forest. The memorial stone that was at the site has been moved though.

... even worse. RIP, Jim Clark.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
cider_and_toast said:Sadly there can't be any return to the old format as it's supposedly been ripped up and re-planted with trees.

I don't mean to be pedantic, but it's not impossible. Extremely unlikely to happen maybe, but not impossible. (unless the old forest section has been built on, but it doesn't sound like it has).

Presumably there were trees there before the circuit was originally formed, so if tarmac has since been ripped up and re-planted with trees, there is no physical reason why the reverse couldn't happen and the original layout restored.

So, what with so much having been invested in the new layout, it's more to do with there being no will to do it rather than no way.

I do miss the old circuit, but that's not to say that the new one doesn't produce exciting racing, or that the tyres won't be a factor. Witness Lewis Hamilton's storming drive in 2008 after his team nearly messed up with their decision not to pit him when the safety car came out, because he still had quite a bit of fuel on board. His recovery drive to win the race, passing Massa and Piquet on his fresh tyres to their worn ones, was sensational.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
It is a real shame about the tyre choice as this circuit really doesn't need the choice between two unsuitable compounds to make an interesting race. The new Hockenhiem layout has repeatedly bucked season long trends toward dull racing, taking out the chicken's and long straights it's nature was transformed overnight from processional to frenetic.

Much as I loved the race in Canada, I was really looking forward to this race showing exactly what the ban on refuelling could produce in the way of genuine overtaking. Instead we're going to be treated to a strategic lottery and genuinely quick drivers and cars overtaken by genuinely slower drivers on the "right tyre". :bored:
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I think we need to give Tilke a break on this one. On its own merits new Hockenheim is a decent circuit racing wise. If it was built somewhere else we would be quite happy with it.

The only reason that this decent circuit does not get the praise is the nostalgia for the old blast through the forest. But lets make the best of new Hock!
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
teabagyokel said:
I think we need to give Tilke a break on this one. On its own merits new Hockenheim is a decent circuit racing wise. If it was built somewhere else we would be quite happy with it.

The only reason that this decent circuit does not get the praise is the nostalgia for the old blast through the forest. But lets make the best of new Hock!

Agreed TBY.

As with Galahad, I quite like the new Hockenheim ring, we will always feel nostalgia for the old tracks (incidentally, you can still view the old track on google maps :)) Definitely one of Hermann Tilkes better redesigns
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
I was looking for some old Hockenheim videos but found this instead.


Nice simulation of the track and it's Murray, other than that it's pretty bland.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
Speshal said:
I was looking for some old Hockenheim videos

Ask and you shall receive Speshal.

1970 - The first Grand Prix held at Hockenheim

Part 1/2

Part 2/2

1982 - A classic F1 moment (I didn't post this one, as it has been posted many times)


1983 - Cheever was always a bit of a loose cannon, but this was downright ludicrous


1984 - A young Ayrton Senna gets off to a great start, and then...


1986 - Extended Highlights package of a classic race


1993 - Berger and Blundell have a nice battle


2006 - Some overtaking at the New Hockenheim

 

cosicave

Banned
Another superb article Galahad. Thanks again. You have a knack for setting the scene that would be worth sending over to Legard, to give him some much needed guidance. Better still, could you sit alongside Martin Brundle instead?

Now, last things first - not least because I have a short memory span…

R.I.P.
Instinctively, I feel it is an injustice to have moved Jim Clark's memorial stone. I will never forget my first sight of the scene; the loneliness of it; the darkness of it; the heavy atmosphere that hangs there. - And I felt it every time I passed by. I will never forget it
Until reading this, I did not know it had been moved. And somehow I feel it is fundamentally wrong, even if their motivation to move it to a more visible place may have been done with the best intent. But I confess to not knowing any details, save the words I have just read here.

Circuit
I agree with those who feel that Tilke did a reasonable job, given his brief. It is a circuit where we can expect some action, and although I've never been a fan of hair-pins from my own perspective, there can be little doubt that this one adds to the drama.

Tyres
I agree with Enja that the tyre situation could actually make it more, rather than less interesting. And for that reason I feel Button will once again do much better in the race than qualifying. However, unless McLaren really can make a break-through, they will be very much under the German cosh of Vettel, with their currently superior downforce paying dividends. By the same token, Ferrari should also do pretty well - at last in theory…

Other thoughts
I expect this to be an interesting race meeting, not least because I want to see how McLaren are going to evaluate their re-modelled 'blown' diffuser. I will therefore be making an effort to get some free time to watch as much of the Free Practice sessions as possible.
 
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