Hockenheim hosts German F1 GP
Formula 1 heads to Germany this weekend, where Red Bull and McLaren will continue their battle for control of both the drivers’ and teams’ world championship.
Heading into the 11th race of the season, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton leads the driver’s championship ahead of Jenson Button, with the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel behind. McLaren also leads Red Bull in the constructors’ title race.
The Hockenheim race on Sunday (July 25) will be Vettel’s home event and he will hope to recapture his success this year after a disappointing result at the previous race in Silverstone. Meanwhile Mark Webber says he has made up with the Red Bull team after his fury over the moving of a newly developed wing from his car to Vettel’s at Silverstone. The Australian shared barbed words with team boss Christian Horner after winning the race, but said on his website that he has since cleared the air.
McLaren has said it will not favour Hamilton over Button in the fight for the championship, and Button has said he must improve his qualifying performance if he wants to retain the championship he won in 2009. There is a 12 point gap between the two Britons going into this weekend.
McLaren hopes that its new blown rear diffuser will be usable in Germany this weekend. The technology, based on that developed by Red Bull, was due to run on the cars in Britain but the team was unable to make it work effectively.
Ferrari has yet to really perform this season, despite intermittent showings of pace. But Fernando Alonso said the team was absolutely focused on fighting for the championship.
“People are even more motivated than before because they feel we deserve a good race finally,” he said in a Ferrari video.
Renault expects a tough race. It doesn’t have either of the major new technologies – F-ducts and blown rear diffusers – adopted by the front running teams, which Robert Kubica says will be being competitive a tough task.
“It could be quite a tough weekend,” said the Pole. “But if it’s what we call a tough weekend for us is like in Silverstone, when we still could have finished P4 or P5, then I’ll take it straight away.”
Away from Germany, former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has confirmed that he has submitted an application to enter a team in next year’s world championship. The Canadian, who won the title with Williams in 1997, has teamed up with Italian team Durango, which formerly raced in GP2.
And there are concerns that this year’s South Korean Grand Prix, due to take place on October 24, may be cancelled. Speculation on several online motorsport sources suggests that organisers have asked Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for more time to complete the new circuit at Yeongam and want to postpone the new event until 2011.
Who do you tip for victory in Germany? Leave your predictions in the comments below.
Below: Mark Webber uses the Red Bull simulator to guide us through the Hockenheim circuit.