F1 Power Rankings: German Grand Prix

Just one week after a controversial British Grand Prix, we’re right back at it for the next round of the 2013 Formula One World Championship. This time, it’s the German Grand Prix from the Nurburgring. Fortunately for Pirelli and the teams, the new Nurburgring is quite a bit slower than Silverstone so there shouldn’t be as many tyre issues. That doesn’t mean that we’re likely to hear less about Pirelli’s issues.

#1 Sebastian Vettel (Last Race #1)
Vettel gives travel advice if you haven’t bought your race tickets yet: “If you are looking for action, you should go for sections where overtaking is possible, so at the first corner. The fast corners are exciting as well: the Müllenbach loop, the Michael- Schumacher-S, and the section following the ADVAN arch, shortly before the chicane.”

#2 Fernando Alonso (LR #2)
So Fernando survived another sub-par qualifying performance to score a podium. Well, sub-par is a relative term. I’m sure most drivers would be very happy to make it to Q3 but when you’re contending for a championship, qualifying 10th (starting 9th) isn’t going to cut it. Mercedes has parleyed single-lap pace (and an illegal tyre test) into results. Ferrari needs that quali pace to get Fernando a shot at the title.

#3 Lewis Hamilton (LR #3)

#4 Nico Rosberg (LR #5)

#5 Mark Webber (LR #4)
Now that @AussieGrit is on his way out of F1, he’s burning bridges with track: “I prefer the Nürburgring to Hockenheim; it’s got a bit of character about it, with some old school camber changes and old kerbs. The best part is Turns 5 and 6, the fast left which goes into the tight right.”

f1-kimi-raikkonen-helmet-2013#6 Kimi Raikkonen (LR #6)
The Iceman talks about the keys to success this weekend: “It’s pretty good, but probably not as much fun as the old one. It should suit us, but the fact is you need a really good car to be competitive there. Most of all you need good traction out of the corners and a stable car under braking. We’re pretty reasonable in both these areas. We have had our issues with cooler weather and unfortunately it’s not usually that warm at the Nürburgring, but we’ll just see what we get and get on with it.”

#7 Felipe Massa (LR #8)

#8 Paul di Resta (LR #7)

#9 Adrian Sutil (LR #11)

#10 Jean-Eric Vergne (LR #9)

f1-jenson-button-helmet-2013#11 Jenson Button (LR #12)
Jenson thinks the car is getting better. I’ll believe it when I see it: “The Silverstone result wasn’t where we want to be, but there were some reasons to be encouraged by last weekend. Our car is now better balanced and more driveable, so we’re hoping for a rain-free practice day in order to further develop the set-up during Friday’s two free practice sessions.”

f1-sergio-perez-helmet-2013#12 Sergio Perez (LR #13)
Checo thinks he was running good before his tyre troubles. That’s debatable: “I demonstrated strong pace all weekend, was having a good race and looked set to finish in the points, until my tyre failure in the closing laps. Naturally, these setbacks happen in motor racing, so it’ll be good to get back in the car just a few days after Silverstone and get back to business.”

#13 Daniel Ricciardo (LR #14)

f1-romain-grosjean-helmet-2013#14 Romain Grosjean (LR #10)
Romain talks about what it would be like if F1 still ran the Nordschliefe: “It’s quite some circuit and it must have been amazing to have raced there. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we raced the current Formula 1 cars there. For starters can you imagine how long the set-up meetings would be with all those corners to talk about?! The Thursday morning track walk would be pretty epic too!”

f1-nico-hulkenberg-helmet-2013#15 Nico Hulkenberg (LR #15)
Despite being an F1 vet, this is the first time that The Hulk will race the Nurburgring in an F1 car: “Although this is my third season, I have never raced at the Nurburgring in a Formula One car, so this is a first for me. Overall, however, I know what to expect. I guess, everything will be a bit faster and I might perceive things a little different, but I know the track well and I am looking forward to a nice weekend.”

#16 Valtteri Bottas (LR #16)
Val is praying for rain. He basically thinks it’s his only hope of points: “The weather is often changeable so we will be preparing for the possibility of a wet weekend. I’ve always enjoyed driving in tricky conditions though and our car is currently performing better in the wet/damp conditions so I will be hoping that we do see some showers.”

#17 Pastor Maldonado (LR #18)
If there was one thing that I thought that the Williams would be good at is driving slow: “Although the Nurburgring layout has changed recently and lost some of its old character, it’s still a pretty fast and flowing track which I tend to like and offers some good overtaking opportunities. It’s one of the most technical circuits on the calendar and we have been working hard to improve our cars balance in slow, technical corners.”

f1-esteban-gutierrez-helmet-2013#18 Esteban Gutierrez (LR #17)
Steve hasn’t analysed his last race yet. That’s probably a good thing. If he analysed his whole season, it would be a bit depressing: “With back-to-back races there is less time to analyse the previous weekend and the focus changes pretty quickly, so you take the momentum and move on. On the other hand, back-to-back races are really nice, because you only have a couple of days until you are back in the car again.”

#19 Charles Pic (LR #19)
Chuckie thinks the team is on the upswing: “We made some progress in Silverstone, in quali when I put together the best qualifying lap of my season so far and in the race where we had better pace than we’d had for a couple of races, and we added a few new parts to the car, mainly around the floor. We’ll have a couple more small updates for Germany and it’ll be good to continue the positive trend we’ve regained since last week in the UK.”

#20 Jules Bianchi (LR #20)
Even Jules agrees that Caterham is getting the drop on Marussia: “The races are really starting to come quickly, so it is especially important that we stay focused now, as in Silverstone we didn’t achieve our objective of staying ahead of the Caterham and we have to turn that situation around again. We need to give ourselves a better chance for the race by having a stronger preparation on Friday and Saturday, to leave us in the best position.”

f1-max-chilton-helmet-2013#21 Max Chilton (LR #21)
Max the Axe’s focus is on catching Marussia: “With just a few days between races, I’ve spent those training before heading out on Wednesday. I’ve also caught up with my engineers on what we learned from the race and we’ll continue that process over the next couple of days as we need to give ourselves the best possible run-up to the weekend.”

#22 Geido van der Garde (LR #22)
Gary considers this his home race. I guess that makes sense since we don’t go to Zandvoort anymore: “Germany is going to be a great race, partly because the track is relatively near home for me so there will be a lot of Dutch support there, and because it’s a track I’ve always gone well at. Throughout my career I’ve won races there in all categories – I know that’s not going to happen this year but, as a rookie, when you go to a track you know really well it means you’re on it right from the first lap and that helps us maximise the time we have in every session, as long as the weather stays dry which it looks like it should!”

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