German Grand Prix 2014 Preview: Start Time, TV Info, Weather, Schedule, Odds
The German Grand Prix will be Round 10 of the 2014 Formula One season.
Since 2008, the race has alternated between two of Germany's best modern circuits. Last year, the Nurburgring was host; this year, it's back to Hockenheim. It will be the 34th time this venue has held the grand prix.
There are four drivers on the grid for whom this is a home race—Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hulkenberg and Adrian Sutil. It's also the home race for Mercedes. The German manufacturer last won at home in 1954, when Juan Manuel Fangio took the chequered flag.
Rosberg suffered his first retirement at the last race at Silverstone, and he goes into the weekend with a slender, four-point lead over team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
But it has been action off the track which has dominated the headlines this week. FRIC (front-rear interconnected) suspension systems have been effectively banned by the FIA, so all the teams are expected to remove them before the race.
Will it affect Mercedes' dominance, or was FRIC only a small part of their package?
Read on for a full preview of the weekend ahead, including current standings, circuit map and guide, tyre and DRS information, weather forecast, odds, session times and TV times.
Nico Rosberg's retirement at Silverstone allowed Lewis Hamilton to close the gap at the front to just four points.
The current Top 10 (information from Formula1.com) are:
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||98|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||70|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||63|
In the constructors' championship, Mercedes hold a massive lead over the rest of the pack. The current standings are:
The Hockenheimring, to give it its full name, lies in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, in the southwest corner of Germany.
The track has seen some great races in the past, but its new cut-down layout has struggled to win some fans over. To many, no number of hairpins can make up for losing the old track's awesome loop through the forest.
At a stroke, one of the calendar's quickest circuits became one of its slowest. This image shows the new track laid over the old one.
But the new configuration is by no means horrible, and it should present plenty of opportunities for overtaking.
A lap begins on the pit straight with a fairly short run down to the first corner.
Turn 1 is a medium-speed right-hander, the drivers turning in hard to hit the tiny apex before accelerating out as the corner opens.
Overtaking into this corner is highly unlikely, but it's easy to run a little bit too wide. This can compromise exit speed onto the straight that follows, presenting an opportunity into the next turn.
Turns 2, 3 and 4
At the end of the short straight the drivers brake hard for Turn 2, a tight right-hander. This is the first real overtaking opportunity of the lap, but many drivers will choose to wait for the better chance, which comes along a few hundred metres up the road.
We're now on the new section—up to this point, the circuit had followed the old layout.
The corner opens out through the exit into Turn 3, which isn't really a corner in itself.
This leads immediately into Turn 4, a left-hand kink which sends the cars out onto the circuit's longest straight.
Turns 5 and 6
Except it's not really straight. The first two-thirds of this longest flat-out section on the circuit is a huge, lightly curved left-hander (Turn 5).
This leads onto a shorter section, which actually is straight, before braking hard from top speed down to a crawl for the tight hairpin right of Turn 6.
This corner and the straight leading up to it present the best overtaking opportunity of the lap, so expect to see plenty of action down here on Sunday.
Turns 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
Out of the hairpin, the drivers accelerate hard down a short straight and back onto the route of the old Hockenheim before a section which looks like it was added because there weren't enough corners.
First up is the fast right-hand kink of Turn 7.
A few seconds later, they brake for Turn 8, a tight left-hander. This corner opens out once the apex is cleared, through a barely perceptible left (Turn 9).
The cars stick close to the inside curb, then launch into the flat-out right-hander of Turn 10. This leads them back onto the route of the old circuit for another short straight.
Formula1.com says this completely straight straight is Turn 11, and who are we to argue?
Turns 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17
The end of the lap is near, and we're approaching the only distinctive part of Hockenheim which survived the redesign.
Turn 12 is a medium-speed right which shoots the cars into the tight, fiddly "stadium" section.
Noticeably narrower than the rest of the course, this part was added in the 1960s when the A6 Autobahn was built, cutting off the westernmost section of the circuit.
Turn 13 is a tight and slow left-hander with a little bit of banking. It leads immediately into a slight left-right chicane made up of Turns 14 and 15.
Turn 16 is a slow- to medium-speed right-hander which can often catch the drivers out at the exit. It forms a double corner with Turn 17, another medium-speed right, which leads out onto the short pit straight.
The pit lane entry is on the inside between Turns 16 and 17, and the exit is on the inside just after Turn 1.
Tyres and DRS
Hockenheim features mostly low-speed corners, with four significant braking events and plenty of hard acceleration.
This puts more strain on the rear tyres than on the fronts.
As the track isn't especially nasty to the tyres, Pirelli are bringing the red-marked supersoft and yellow-marked soft compounds.
Two stops was the winning strategy in 2012 when F1 last visited, and it's likely to be the most commonly used approach this weekend.
But some teams—perhaps Force India—may try to one-stop.
The German Grand Prix will have two DRS zones.
The first has its detection point just before Turn 1. The activation point is just after the exit of Turn 1, and it ends with braking for Turn 3.
The second, much larger zone, has a detection point at the exit of Turn 4. The activation point is a few hundred metres down the road in Turn 5, and the zone runs all the way down the straight, ending with braking for the hairpin Turn 6.
German Grand Prix Weather Forecast
Hockenheim lies in southern Germany, which has a temperate oceanic climate. Summers tend to be somewhere between warm and hot, with rain a feature all year round.
Dry, hot weather is expected for Friday and Saturday, but a passing cold front on Sunday may see a few heavy drops of rain. If they arrive, the showers will be hit-and-miss, creating plenty of uncertainty for the race.
BBC Weather will have the latest (for the nearby city of Heidelberg) as we get closer to the weekend.
Following his victory at the British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton is the favourite for the win in Germany. Nico Rosberg is the second-favourite.
Williams have overtaking Red Bull in the eyes of the bookies.
The Top 10 favourites are:
With rain a possibility for the race, the safety car is considered equally likely to appear (5-6) or not appear (5-6).
Valtteri Bottas has been on the podium at the last two races, and at 7-4 he's the third favourite (behind the two Mercedes) for another in Germany. Team-mate Felipe Massa is 5-2.
And with four Germans starting their home race, it's 80-1 none of them score, 10-1 for one, 9-10 for two, 20-19 for three and 33-1 for all four.
All odds taken from Oddschecker.com, and correct at the time of publication.
TV Times and Session Times
As always, the German Grand Prix will consist of three free practice sessions, qualifying and the race.
The session times (CEST) are:
|Practice One||Friday||10 a.m.|
|Practice Two||Friday||2 p.m.|
|Practice Three||Saturday||11 a.m.|
Formula1.com has a handy one-click tool to convert them to your own timezone.
In the United Kingdom, live coverage of all sessions will be provided by Sky Sports F1. The times (BST) are as follows:
|Session||Day||Session Starts||Coverage Starts|
|Practice One||Friday||9 a.m.||8:45 a.m.|
|Practice Two||Friday||1 p.m.||12:45 p.m.|
|Practice Three||Saturday||10 a.m.||9:45 a.m.|
|Qualifying||Saturday||1 p.m.||12 p.m.|
|Race||Sunday||1 p.m.||11:30 a.m.|
The BBC will be showing highlights of qualifying (from 5:25 p.m. on Saturday, BBC One) and the race (7 p.m. on Sunday, BBC Two).
In the United States, the NBC network will have live coverage of qualifying (8 a.m. Saturday, CNBC) and the race (from 7:30 a.m. Sunday, CNBC).
Enjoy the weekend!