Grand Prix 2011 German Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

It's turning out to be a strange old season

Mixed conditions and poor pit stops paved the way to an enthralling race, while it had one of the lowest overtaking figures of the year, it certainly showed that overtaking isn't the be all and end all of grand prix racing, however the two Mclaren drivers showed that overtaking can be exciting.

Of the runners and riders, Ferrari have made the biggest gain and maybe, just maybe, Red Bull have lost their monopoly over the top step of the podium and we might finally have a championship, however I'm sure I have said this after China and Canada.......

The curious case of Mclaren continued apace this weekend as they had no pace, found pace and then lost it again. In the changeable conditions at the start of the race, Hamilton and Button charged through the field until the dry conditions when the natural order reasertied themselves, however, it is hard to see how they really showed in fully dry conditions as Button lost a wheel nut early on and Hamilton had to fuel save for the latter part of the race.

Going into the German Grand Prix, Red Bull will understandably be favourites as Sebastian Vettel looks to extend his lead at the top of the championship as he continues in his quest for back to back champions (and the youngest to do so before I'm mistaken) but he'll have to fight off a resurgant Mark Webber who is finally challenging his team mate again after a slow start to the season after he struggled to acclimatise to the Pirelli tyres, he was also stung by the team orders at the end of the last Grand Prix, so you can't bet against him for at least a podium position next weekend.

Renault seem to have disappeared after a strong start to the season, Vitaly Petrov seems to have fallen back into 2010 mode after a strong start to the season. Nick Heidfeld has fared better recently and still features in the lower ends of the points, however a podium seems a long way away, a theory solidified as their side exhausts have had to be abandonded due to the propsed rules, however with the debate going on at the moment, this may not be the case after all.

Mercedes seem to have found pace recently, Rosberg is constintely in the midle of the points while Schumacher seems more like himself again, in more ways than one.......... But at his home grand prix, he will be keen to show that he still has it, along with a large number of German drivers, the most represented country on the grid, so many people will be keen to show that they are the best German on the grid.

Team lotus made it into Q2 again which is a major achievment for them and shows that they are getting closer to the midfield and their major goal of getting points before the end of the year so they can beat Virgin and Hispania.

This year we return to the Nurburgring as part of the deal is that the circuit alternates with Hockenheim, last time we were there was in 2009 where Mark Webber won his first grand prix in the Red Bull. In recent memory Nurburgring will be best remembered for the crazy race in 2007 where a heavy rain shower caused havoc at the start of the race and famously allowed Markus Winkelhock to lead the race in his Spyker, joining the elite of people who led a race in their first (and only race)

For Galahad's excellent circuit write up, see here
Nice one MCLS :thumbsup:

It's worth noting that the whole EBD blowing issue will revert to how it was at Valencia, with Silverstone being a one off.

So in theory, Red Bull should recover their advantage.
Looks like McLaren are going to benifit most from the ditching of the Off-T EBD ban. At least that's what Mark Hughes is saying in his BBC blog. As is AUTOSPORT.

Ferrari's performance after their big aero upgrade is real...but RBR should also be very competitive. Should be another hard fought Grand Prix.

Vettel's home race. I'm sure he'll be less 'conservative' at this one (without, of course, being stupid.)

What are the tyre nominations by Pirelli for this one?
Thanks, Bro.

The one thing we didn't find out was how good the Ferraris would have been on the Hards at Silverstone. Alonso said they would have been fine given their upgrades on their suspension and rear wings especially...and that their pace on them in FP confirmed so.
So in theory, Red Bull should recover their advantage.

I have a theory that Ferrari's silence was due to being covered whichever way the decision went. Pat Fry's big update was largely unnoticed and put down to EBD, but I think it is something special.
I don't think there is much point talking abut anyone other than Vettel taking the title, it just isn't realistic, let's just enjoy the races on an individual basis.

Only chance for the others to get a look in would be for a series of dnf from Seb, but with the current engine revs regulation which means engines are nowhere near their max potential, engine failures are extremely unlikely this season. So... it's game over if you ask me.
Better not ask me then!
So basically he has no chance?

Yes Alonso has a chance. He'll need to win many races while needing Massa and others - likely Hamilton and Button - to take points off Vettel and also hope Vettel has DNFs.

Personally my feeling is that Vettel is going to his home country to win the German Grand Prix outright and break the backs of Alonso and the McLaren drivers and kill them all off.

Webber is less of a threat to Vettel for one main reason: They have the same Webber won't be able to gain a technical advantage. Ferrari and McLaren drivers can gain a technical advantage over Vettel...but Webber can't. The two (WEB and VET) are driving the same car.
All the other championship contenders have had their turn and I think Vettel is due a DNF. Not that I think this will affect the destination of the championship but with 10races to go and 250 points available, anything can happen.
I think with the general perception that the Ferrari mods and mods to come will keep them fast, the dark horse in the German GP will likely be Mercedes with their improvements finding them good pace. A dream story albeit not at Hockenheim anymore would be for Michael to win the GP which would be a script for hollywood, but it may be a right old tussle with RBR and Ferrari, then factoring in McLaren that would want to get back on the straight and narrow.

My particular interest will be to see how much Ferrari can close the gap, if they have got the "downforce" that has been circling in the media then I can see Vettel and Webber having a real hard time of it, if it is status quo, normal services resumed well then everyone will be playing catch up again.
Here is the ghost of Nurburgrings past:

My particular interest will be to see how much Ferrari can close the gap, if they have got the "downforce" that has been circling in the media...

You'll be happy to know that Ferrari have not only closed the gap but they're actually ahead of RBR in those types of high speed corners following their big aero and suspension developments. There is an abundance of such corners in 'Sector 2' of the new Silverstone configuration...and the Ferraris were faster in S2 at the weekend consistently.
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