The Nurburgring has endured some financial hardships of late forcing many to wonder whether the German Grand Prix would ever pound the tarmac of the circuit again. Unfortunately this has not been the end of their woes in the build up to its 2013 return – the circuit shares its duties with Hockenheim – as many drivers have threatened to boycott the Grand Prix unless the Pirelli tyre dramas can be resolved.
The organisers are hoping to brush all of this aside and provide their four native drivers with a memorable home Grand Prix. Rudolf Caracciola and Michael Schumacher have won ten German Grands Prix between them though the former’s came before the official World Championship format we see today.
Overall, Ferrari are the most successful team in Germany having 22 constructor trophies to their name. Their current driver, Fernando Alonso, has three wins himself though reports over engine issues may hamper him and the team this weekend. Alonso, Hamilton and Webber are the only victors since Schumacher’s retirement in 2006. In 2007, it was referred to as the European Grand Prix calendar and once again, the Spaniard took victory.
The Nurburgring is a great place for overtaking. Turn one offers great overtaking potential as heavy braking into the hairpin is required – the drivers need to be brave when attempting to overtake here but still mindful to avoid any pile-ups at the start. Turn one is treacherous when the rain pours so the correct tyre choice here will be crucial if they are to prevent any aquaplaning there.
The end of each lap also provides some challenges for the drivers. The “Coca-Cola Kurve” switches between left and right turns and medium speed; control is needed when negotiating is particular section of the circuit.
Sebastian Vettel has never won a Grand Prix in the month of July, perhaps caused by a mid season slump in concentration or an unfortunate few races for the German. Either way, the engine issues of Silverstone must not be repeated if he is to keep his current stranglehold on the championship.
Both the Toro Rosso drivers finished outside the points in the 2012 round at Hockenheim. They will hope that the switch in location will help them prove themselves to the bosses at the Red Bull; both are competing for a 2014 seat alongside Vettel. Their fight will be all the more challenging as Kimi Raikkonen’s experience and previous fastest lap records make him ‘one to watch’ around the circuit.
The German Grand Prix will inevitably begin with much talk surrounding the tyres; Pirelli will have to show that the necessary changes have been made if this topic is to fade anytime soon.