Grand Prix 2016 German Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

So onward to Germany, which is a pleasant surprise to me as I didn't think we were going to get a German Grand Prix for a while. Between dwindling fan attendance, dwindling TV audiences, a lack of funds for circuits and a certain Mr Ecclestone having various legal issues, it looked like Germany would be out in the wilderness for a while. But its not and we've come to race through the trees and forests of the legendary Hockenheimring........only we're not because they cut all the trees and forest section out back in 2002 (boo!). Hockenheim is currently a bit like the Worlds Strongest Man competition in that its all about the grunt. Its also as flat as a female Russian gymnast with the least elevation of any circuit on the calendar. What does all of this mean for the race? Well it will mean that Red Bull and Mclaren will take a step back from where they were in Hungary whilst Force India and Williams will take a step forward. It should suit the Mercedes team down to the ground meaning they should dominate from the front, unless of course Ferrari suddenly find the car potential we know they have but that seems a dim hope as the season goes on.

Ferrari are in a strange situation at the moment. Their engine is improved to pretty much match the Merc, its agreed that their car is better than last year and both their drivers are on form, but for whatever reason they are just not getting results. Hockenheim should be an ideal place to prove all of the former just as Baku was, however I wouldn't be surprised to see Vettel get another grid penalty and spend the race having to come back through the field already. As for the all conquering Mercedes its situation back to normal with Hamilton taking back the lead of the championship in the last round. Its very hard for anyone to argue he doesn't deserve to be there after a return to proper form from his dip (complacency?) at the beginning of the year. Rosberg made hay whilst the sun shone but you get the feeling now that his race may be run. I think Nico is fully aware that he is not as quick as Lewis and the only way he can beat Lewis is to get Lewis to beat himself. The more in the ascendancy he got the more Hamilton got frustrated and made errors, which of course meant Nico played a little dirty sometimes. Thats not worked and Lewis is back on top and showing a different side to his character. Rather than driving like Senna in Hungary he drove like Prost by taking a win in the slowest possible time he had too. Its saving engines which he lacks and is exceptionally smart, it also annoys the hell out of Nico and thus the tables are turned. I expect to see the same again in Germany if Lewis is out front with him backing Nico into the Ferrari's. The only way round this for Rosberg? Attempt a balls out move on Lewis, unfortunately though after the two collisions earlier this year I doubt very much he is brave enough to do that. Its very unfortunate for us because I think it means we're going to see some dull dull grand prixs just like the last two.

Elsewhere its worth keeping an eye on the Ricciardo/Verstappen in-fight which is swinging this way and that, although a certain Sky F1 commentator would have you believe everything Verstappen does is genius. I often wonder if David Croft ran unopposed to be elected president of the Max Verstappen fan club or whether he had competition. Its also worth keeping an eye on the continuing good form of Carlos Sainz who might get involved in a fight with his Red Bull big brothers given I expect the Torro Rosso to have more engine power.

Over at Renault, Hungary was the first time all season that KMag got thumped by Palmer. Is it a flash in the pan or has the tide turned. Expect lots of whinging messages at Mclaren from Button and Alonso as they are completely mugged down the straights and expect Wherlain to get a good start in the Manor and annoy the hell out of some drivers as they can't get past that Manor. Bottas will prob show a bit of form and be around the top 5, whilst Massa will look quick but not get a result. Perez will go long on tyres and be in the same place as Bottas. Meanwhile who knows whats going to happen at Sauber? Being as they've been bought out by what seems to be Marcu Ericsons investors I'm expecting him to get the best car but that likes saying he'll get the best punch in the face.

So Germany - we need a good race. We really do.
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