German Grand Prix 2016 Preview: Start Time, TV Info, Weather, Schedule, Odds

Matthew Walthert@@MatthewWalthertFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2016

German Grand Prix 2016 Preview: Start Time, TV Info, Weather, Schedule, Odds

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    The 2014 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
    The 2014 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.Vladimir Rys Photography/Getty Images

    After a one-year hiatus, the German Grand Prix is back. Hockenheim, in southwestern Germany, near the French border, hosts the race on Sunday.

    Mercifully, the German race marks the end of a ridiculous six grands prix in eight weekends and the beginning of the four-week summer break.

    Lewis Hamilton leads the championship for the first time this season after a dominant performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    On the constructors' side, Mercedes are once again running away with the title, but Ferrari lead Red Bull by one point for second place in what should be a fascinating battle for the rest of the season.

    From 1977 to 2006, the Hockenheimring hosted the German Grand Prix every year except for 1985 (Michele Alboreto's last Formula One win). Then, from 2008 to 2014, the race alternated between Hockenheim and the Nurburgring before the latter's financial troubles forced the race to be scrapped last season.

    Going forward, it seems the Nurburgring is out of the loop, with F1 journalist Joe Saward reporting on his blog that, "It looks like Hockenheim will get the German race full-time and the Formula One group will become the promoter, keeping all revenues, including all the local subsidies."

    The last two German Grands Prix were won by German drivers: Sebastian Vettel in 2013 and Nico Rosberg in 2014. The Schumacher brothers are the only other Germans to win their home race in the F1 world championship era (since 1950).

    Keep reading for a full race weekend preview, including TV times, championship standings, a circuit map and guide, tyre and DRS information, weather forecast, odds and session times.

Current Standings

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    Lewis Hamilton celebrates his Hungarian Grand Prix victory.
    Lewis Hamilton celebrates his Hungarian Grand Prix victory.Charles Coates/Getty Images

    Hamilton has won five of the last six races and now has a six-point advantage over Rosberg. In the battle for third, behind the Mercedes duo, just 15 points separate the four Ferrari and Red Bull drivers before a large gap back to Williams' Valtteri Bottas in seventh place.

    Here are the top 10 drivers heading into the German Grand Prix:

    Position           Driver                   Points         
    1.Lewis Hamilton192
    2.Nico Rosberg186
    3.Daniel Ricciardo115
    4.Kimi Raikkonen114
    5.Sebastian Vettel110
    6.Max Verstappen100
    7.Valtteri Bottas56
    8.Sergio Perez47
    9.Felipe Massa38
    10.Carlos Sainz Jr.30

    There is no drama at the front, where Mercedes look certain to take a third straight constructors' title. But Ferrari and Red Bull are locked in a close duel for second place, and it will be interesting to see whether Force India can continue to catch up to Williams for fourth.

    Here is the table for the constructors' championship:

    PositionTeamPoints
    1.Mercedes378
    2.Ferrari224
    3.Red Bull223
    4.Williams94
    5.Force India74
    6.Toro Rosso45
    7.McLaren38
    8.Haas28
    9.Renault6
    10.Manor1
    11.Sauber0

Hockenheimring

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    Wikimedia Commons/Sentoan

    The Hockenheimring was neutered for the 2002 race, with the long sweeping loop through the forest cut off and Turns 3 through 10 added to the circuit.

    "I remember the craziness of the old configuration—huge straights and fiddly chicanes, which made setup a tricky compromise—and this layout is very different, but you can see they've designed it to promote close racing," Jenson Button said, per McLaren's race preview.

    The new, 4.574-kilometre format is not nearly as interesting, but it does still feature the spectacular (when full of fans, anyway) stadium section at the end of the lap and wrapping around the start/finish straight.

    Check out the official F1 circuit guide video to see a lap from a driver's perspective.

    Turn 1

    The NordKurve is part of the original layout, a high-speed right-hander.

    "It's an interesting track, starting with Turn 1, which is a very high-speed corner and can be quite tricky on the opening lap," Daniil Kvyat said, according to Toro Rosso's race preview.

    Felipe Massa knows all about that after rolling his car following a collision with Kevin Magnussen at the start in 2014.

    Turns 2, 3, 4 and 5

    Turn 2 is where the new circuit veers off from the old one. It is an overtaking opportunity as the drivers brake from more than 300 km/h to approximately 100 km/h for the tight right turn.

    From there, they accelerate through the quick, right-left kinks of Turns 3 and 4 before blasting away around the long, sweeping Turn 5.

    "The exit of Turn 3 is where you need really good traction, especially in the race and after Turn 4 you drive down the long curved straight—time for a beer and a sausage... it's so long!" Kvyat said.

    Turn 6

    The hairpin of Turn 6 is the best overtaking spot on the track, coming after a lengthy, flat-out run from Turn 4. "We go from 330 to 70 km/h in 100 metres," Carlos Sainz Jr. explained in the Toro Rosso preview.

    Turns 7, 8, 9 and 10

    After a short straight, Turn 7 is a flat-out right-hander before a heavy braking zone for Turn 8, a slow left-hander taken in third gear.

    Turn 9 is a left-hand kink before the fifth-gear right-hander of Turn 10 that leads onto a straight that takes the drivers to the stadium section of the original circuit.

    Turns 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16

    This section is all part of the original layout and is surrounded by massive grandstands.

    Turn 11 is a quick right-hander, followed by a short straight leading to the long, fourth-gear Turn 12. Turns 13 and 14 are fast kinks en route to the double right-handers of Turns 15 and 16, where drivers must carry as much speed as possible onto the start/finish straight.

    The circuit map is from Wikimedia Commons.

German Grand Prix Tyres and DRS Zones

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    ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

    The German Grand Prix is the second of four races in a row that will feature Pirelli's supersoft, soft and medium tyres.

    The Hockenheimring has some long, fast straights, but also the slower stadium section at the end of the lap. According to Pirelli's race preview, "There's a very smooth track surface in Hockenheim, which helps to limit wear and degradation."

    Explaining the choice of tyres in Pirelli's preview, the company's motorsport director Paul Hembery said:

    Hockenheim will be a bit of an unknown quantity: we've not raced there for two years, and even before then it was a race that alternated with the Nurburgring, so everybody is lacking historical data compared to other venues we visit. The cars are obviously going a lot quicker than they were in 2014, which is why we have introduced a tyre nomination that is a step harder compared to last time.

    Most teams opted for a single set of medium tyres for the weekend, but Force India were the exception, selecting three sets of the hardest compound available.

    Ferrari, McLaren and Sauber are at the other extreme, selecting nine sets of supersoft tyres for each of their drivers, the most of any team other teams on the grid.

    DRS Zones

    There are two DRS zones and two detection points at the Hockenheimring. The first detection point is on the pit straight, before Turn 1. The activation point is following the exit of Turn 1, on the straight leading to Turn 2, the beginning of the revised section of the circuit.

    The second detection point comes at the exit of Turn 4, as the cars head onto the long, sweeping run to the hairpin Turn 6.

German Grand Prix Weather

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    Fans during qualifying for the 2014 German Grand Prix.
    Fans during qualifying for the 2014 German Grand Prix.Vladimir Rys Photography/Getty Images

    The official F1 website's destination guide notes that, "By northern European standards, Hockenheim is traditionally a hot race. Temperatures are usually in the high 20s Celsius, so make sure you pack the three S’s: shorts, shades and sun block."

    This weekend should be no exception, with highs between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius for the three days of on-track running, according to AccuWeather at the time of publication. 

    Rain looks unlikely, with the forecast calling for sun and some clouds over the weekend.

German Grand Prix Odds

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    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg celebrate on the British Grand Prix podium.
    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg celebrate on the British Grand Prix podium.ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

    As ever, the Mercedes pair are the favourites in Hockenheim, with Hamilton's recent form making him the oddsmakers' choice ahead of Rosberg in his home race (one of them, anyway).

    The best odds available for the top-10 favourites at the Hockenheimring are:

    DriverOdds
    Lewis Hamilton4-5
    Nico Rosberg5-2
    Sebastian Vettel10-1
    Daniel Ricciardo14-1
    Max Verstappen14-1
    Kimi Raikkonen28-1
    Nico Hulkenberg200-1
    Sergio Perez200-1
    Valtteri Bottas200-1
    Felipe Massa250-1

    Selected Others

    No one should touch the Mercs in qualifying around the Hockenheimring, but, if you're feeling adventurous, Daniel Ricciardo is 20-1 to take pole on Saturday (he is the only non-Mercedes driver to qualify on pole this year). Vettel is a slightly more favourable 14-1 to qualify first at his home race.

    Jenson Button was the sole retirement in Hungary last week. It is 16-1 that there will be no retirements in Hockenheim. If you're wondering, poor Daniil Kvyat is the favourite to be the first retirement at 12-1.

    Sergio Perez scored podium finishes in Monaco and Azerbaijan but has finished in the points just once in the last three races. He is 20-1 to regain his form and finish in the top three again. More likely, though, is Ricciardo at 15-8 or Max Verstappen at 2-1 (a Red Bull driver has been on the podium at each of the last three races).

    All odds are taken from Oddschecker and correct at the time of publication.

German Grand Prix Session Times and TV Times

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    PASCAL GUYOT/Getty Images

    Here are the times for the three free practice sessions, qualifying and the race:

    SessionDayTime
    Practice 1Friday10 a.m.
    Practice 2Friday2 p.m.
    Practice 3Saturday11 a.m.
    QualifyingSaturday2 p.m.
    RaceSunday2 p.m.

    The above times are in local Hockenheim time (CEST, UTC+2). You can convert the times to your local time zone using the helpful tool on the official F1 website.

    TV Times

    In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports F1 will have live coverage of all the sessions. The programming start times are as follows (all times BST):

    SessionDayTime
    Practice 1Friday8:45 a.m.
    Practice 2Friday1 p.m.
    Practice 3Saturday9:45 a.m.
    QualifyingSaturday12 p.m.
    RaceSunday11:30 a.m.

    Channel 4 will show free-to-air highlights from qualifying and the race.

    In the United States, NBC has live coverage of all the sessions on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app, with programming start times as follows (all times EDT):

    SessionDayTime
    Practice 1Friday4 a.m. (NBC Sports app)
    Practice 2Friday8 a.m. (NBCSN)
    Practice 3Saturday5 a.m. (NBC Sports app)
    QualifyingSaturday8 a.m. (NBCSN)
    RaceSunday7 a.m. (NBCSN)

    Enjoy the race and the rest of the weekend!

    Matthew Walthert is an F1 columnist for Bleacher Report UK. He has also written for VICEFourFourTwo and The Globe and Mail. Follow him on Twitter:

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