Different track, same weather as F1 hits Germany
For the second race weekend in a row heavy rain on Friday has given the teams a major headache as they prepare for the race.
As happened at Silverstone two weeks ago, rain kept the cars in the garages for a considerable amount of time.
In the second practice session the rain eased off until the track was almost ready for dry-weather tyres until, teasingly, it poured down again.
This will be frustrating for all the teams. But is especially bad news for the likes of McLaren and Lotus who brought significant upgrades for their cars and were counting on dry weather conditions to test them properly.
Picks for pole
Looking ahead to qualifying it’s surprising to note the length of the odds on the pair of drivers who shared the front row in the last race at Silverstone.
British Grand Prix pole sitter Fernando Alonso is at 7.0. Ferrari went into this race weekend in confident mood and he was consistently among the quickest as the track dried in second practice.
Don’t let his lowly rank of 20th in the second timed session put you off – that was all down to the timing of when he set his last lap before the rain returned.
Similarly Mark Webber’s odds of pole position are as long as 8.0 despite him missing out on the top spot by less than five hundredths of a second at Silverstone.
Alonso reckons the RB8 is the quickest car in the field at the moment. Webber has out-qualified team mate Sebastian Vettel five to four so far this year.
The forecast is for more rain during Saturday, and it’s fair to say most predictions underestimated the amount of rain that came today. With that in mind, you might like to take a punt on some of the longer shots for pole position in the qualifying session.
Sauber’s Sergio Perez is definitely worth keeping an eye on for a surprise performance in wet conditions. He was an excellent second in the rain in Malaysia, pushing Alonso all the way.
During the wettest part of qualifying at Silverstone he was quickest of all until his team blundered, putting him on the wrong tyres. If they get it right this time you might end up very pleased you backed him at 60.0.
Nurburgring in trouble
The Hockenheimring plays host to the German Grand Prix this year as the race alternates between two venues every year.
However on the eve of the race weekend news emerged of further setbacks at the other home of the race, the Nurburgring. The venue includes the infamous 22-kilometre Nordschleife, which was home to Germany’s round of the world championship until 1976.
The company which owns the track has racked up huge debts and is expected to become bankrupt. That could place the future of the race in jeopardy, a subject which was cause for concern among F1 drivers in Thursday’s press conference.
“There is a lot of history relates to the Nurburgring track and race for all of us German drivers,” said Michael Schumacher, who won five times at the track.
“We just wish the situation well and hope that solutions will be found and we will be back there as soon as we can.”
Reigning champion Vettel added: “I think it would be a real shame to lose Nurburgring as a race.
“Obviously we hope that the Nurburgring recovers quickly, it's one of the most traditional races we have on the calendar so it would be a big loss, similar, for the Italians, to if we lost Monza for instance.”