Despite financial difficulties at one of the two German host circuits (I forget if it’s this one or Hockenheim, with which the Nurburgring alternates) we’re back to the Nurburgring this year. It seems mad to me that events like the Belgian or German Grand Prix can be in jeopardy due to financial reasons but tedious Monaco doesn’t even pay a race fee.
Anyway, there are a few big issues to discuss ahead of P1. Before we get to the problems men face when rubber bursts just as they’re getting into things, let’s talk Vettel.
Specifically, two weird stats. He’s never won the German Grand Prix. He’s never won a race in July. Even in his ultra-dominant 2011 season he only managed fourth at the Nurburgring. That’s something well worth keeping in mind when it comes to race betting. I also think that Mercedes could be set pretty fair. They’re the best qualifying team on the grid and showed very good race pace in Britain. I suspect Hamilton would’ve won the race, had he and Vettel not suffered car problems.
Speaking of Hamilton, he’s broken up with his long term girlfriend, Nicole Scherzinger. The last time the couple had some issues (late 2011) Hamilton’s on-track form disintegrated. Hopefully that won’t happen this time.
And, as McLaren have decided trying to make their dog of a car any better this year is nigh on impossible, they’ve already shifted focus to the 2014 car (though they’ll continue to develop the 2013 one in ways that can be transferred to next year’s car).
So, tyres. Pirelli will now actually get to do some testing, and have race drivers do it (at the Young Driver Test). There may also be other tests before that, but there’s just not enough time to do any before Germany. At this stage it’s unclear precisely what they’ll do for the Nurburgring. Changes to the tyre are likely to make it harder (if any changes of soft/hardness occur), which would help Red Bull and Mercedes.
We could see a return to 2012 tyres or the updated 2013 tyres which some teams vetoed (those teams have since said that they would not oppose the tyre change on safety grounds).
Early forecasts are for the race weekend to be dry.
As always, your comments, insights, tips, witticisms and haikus are welcome.