German GP Preview

Ricciardo gets back to his smiling ways while Hamilton retakes the championship lead.

Ricciardo gets back to his smiling ways while Hamilton retakes the championship lead.

How about that Hungary race? While it more predictable than previous years, we did get treated three close fights between 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th and 5th/6th. Two Red Bulls were able to hold back two world champions in Ferrari cars (which, mind you, wasn’t hugely difficult on a track which is hard to overtake) meaning that Ferrari is only one point ahead of Red Bull in the constructors championship and Daniel Ricciardo has launched himself into third place in the drivers championship (which – due to Mercedes’ dominance in the last few seasons – may as well be called the “Best of the Rest Drivers Championship”).

Hamilton also is now winning the drivers championship after his win, but I don’t think anyone cares about the Mercedes drivers any more because they’re both insufferable and complain too much.

Regardless, we now come to the final race before the F1 circus takes a well deserved midyear break. 12 races in 3 -and-a-bit months is a lot of travelling and you can rest assured that the drivers will be letting their hair down (if they even have any left…looking at you Lewis) after this Sunday evening.

The German GP last year was cancelled due to issues with the track management – basically, they didn’t have enough money to sacrifice to the F1 overlords to make the race happen, so the travelling circus continued on without them. Fortunately finances have been sorted out for 2016 and the motorsport-hungry audience of Germany will get their annual F1 fix.

Expect to see:
1. Cars divebombing into the hairpin at the end of the back straight – Max Verstappen is the current king of crazily aggressive moves like this so if he qualifies poorly, he will probably make up a few spots using this tactic.
2. Horns – previous German GPs have seen spectators bring in lots and lots of horns, and with the V6 hybrid engines being much quieter than in previous seasons, it’s possible the sound will drown out the engine sound. Think of the recent World Cup with their vuvuzelas and we should have something similar this weekend.
3. Well-rounded cars to perform well – the twisty final sector will favour cars with a good chassis (Red Bull, Mclaren) while the long back straight should see Mercedes-powered cars reel in their competitors. Hard to predict how the qualifying grid will shape up this weekend.
4. Title fights causing curiousity – we’ve got a close battle on the drivers championship, and some decent battles between constructors (Red Bull vs Ferrari, Force India vs Williams) as well. Expect to see some strange, sub-optimal strategies this weekend to ensure that their current position is maintained ahead of specific drivers and competing teams.

Finally, keep an eye out on the Sport In Saigon page for my midyear report card of all drivers and teams based on their performances so far, hitting the website in a few weeks. Advance warning: don’t expect Hamilton to get an A+…

7PM is the time to watch both the qualifying and race in Saigon, on Saturday and Sunday evening respectively. See you there!

Expect plenty of horns and screaming fans at the Germany race this Sunday.

Expect plenty of horns and screaming fans at the Germany race this Sunday.

       

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