F1 Power Rankings: German Grand Prix

After Lewis Hamilton got a bit of home track advantage at the British Grand Prix and cashed in with a win, the battle of the Mercedes teammates goes to Nico’s other home track. With both drivers scoring wins at their home races (Nico in Monaco and Lewis in Britain), the pattern would hold that Rosberg would win the German Grand Prix.

However, the Formula One Power Rankings likes to buck the trend. That includes the Mercedes teammates winning pattern.

#1 Lewis Hamilton (Last Race #1)
Old Louise Hamilton’s eye is still on the big prize: “Winning at Silverstone was just an incredible feeling – for myself, the team and the fans, I couldn’t have asked for more. I feel like I’ve been on the back foot all year, only briefly leading the Championship despite taking the wins I’ve had, so to have got myself just about level was exactly what I needed. It’s almost a fresh start heading into the second half of the season and it’s going to be a really close battle between us.”

#2 Nico Rosberg (LR #2)
Keke’s kid is gearing up for his home race slash championship lead defense: “Hockenheim is a crucial race for all of us. It’s the home Grand Prix for Mercedes-Benz and a second home race for me after Monaco, so I’m really focused on getting a top result this weekend… I’ve always had good support from the German spectators. They’re really enthusiastic and it’s almost like a tradition to take the family on a camping weekend for the Grand Prix so I’m looking forward to gunning for a good result in front of the crowds.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo (LR #3)
Danny Boy sounds a bit bored with Hockenheim, brother: “Hockenheim’s quite a short track but it’s another of those with a little bit of everything. I don’t think the track asks particularly big questions of the driver, though it requires you to be quite brave through the fast Turn One and the right-hander into the stadium – that’s largely about having the confidence in the car to get you through those corners quickly.”

#4 Valtteri Bottas (LR #5)
There’s only one last step on the podium that Val has to make to win a race: “Overtaking is possible so good racing is expected. I think it should be a circuit that suits our car; the old circuit would have been perfect. I hope we can continue the good form we have had in the last three races and I am looking forward to a good weekend and some more points.”

#5 Fernando Alonso (LR #4)

#6 Sebastian Vettel (LR #7)
Old Four-Time is looking forward to a trip home: “I always enjoy the atmosphere at the Hockenheimring. When you arrive at track in the morning the circuit’s already filled with fans and when you’re in the car you can see lots of German flags in the grandstands. The signing session is always very busy too. It’s those little things I really enjoy about Hockenheim. We get a lot of encouragement.”

#7 Nico Hulkenberg (LR #6)
Only two drivers have scored points in every race this season. The Hulk is one of them: “Even on tracks where we have been struggling slightly, we have managed to score points. For example, in Silverstone the car balance was not ideal, but we still came away with four points. I’m feeling more positive about our performance in Germany, especially with the return of the soft and supersoft tyres.”

#8 Kevin Magnussen (LR #12)
Jan’s kid comes up with a politically correct term for a Tilke-drome version of Hockenheim: “It’s a circuit which should hopefully suit us a little bit better than some of the faster, more aero-dependent tracks that we’ve visited recently. I don’t think that will significantly change the competitive order, but it would be good to get some more points under our belts as we push to move up both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.”

#9 Sergio Perez (LR #9)
For a driver known for getting the maximum life out of his tyres, hearing Checo talk about attacking driving is a bit surprising: “With the softer tyres and warm temperatures it’s going to be an interesting race. I like the track, especially the final sector going into the stadium area. I love attacking those corners and you can find a lot of time in this part of the lap. I spent a lot of time in Germany during my career so it’s always good to go back there.”

#10 Felipe Massa (LR #9)
Phil doesn’t need downforce. Phil needs some luck to compete: “Germany is a good track as you can overtake easier than some places as the straight is long and you can use the DRS to get past. The track demands good downforce, especially the last sector so we have been working to improve that.”

#11 Jenson Button (LR #13)
JB takes us on a trip down memory lane. I miss the old Hockenheim. It was a fantastic circuit: “I remember racing at the old Hockenheim – four 200mph straights, a couple of fiddly chicanes and a stadium section where you held on tightly because the car didn’t have any downforce. It seems like a different level of craziness compared with today, but it was a lot of fun.”

#12 Kimi Raikkonen (LR #10)

#13 Jean-Eric Vergne (LR #15)

#14 Daniil Kvyat (LR #14)

#15 Romain Grosjean (LR #11)
Grosjean explains his approach to a Grand Prix weekend: “We approach most tracks in the same way. The big differences training-wise come when we race in extreme conditions such as humidity or high temperatures, or more generally, if we’re going to a brand new track. We will pay particular attention to changes around the circuit during the Thursday track walk but that’s true of any Grand Prix.”

#16 Adrian Sutil (LR #17)
As per usual, generic PR quotage of the week goes to Adrian Sutil: “Hockenheim is my home race and, therefore, a special event. I am really looking forward to the weekend. However, I have not raced there since 2010… I have raced a lot in Hockenheim and I hope, also for my fans, for a good result as well as an appropriate performance from the team.”

#17 Esteban Gutierrez (LR #18)
Steve takes us on a tour of the Hockenheimring: “Hockenheim consists of a few straights, which can be a challenge for us. It is a technical track with its high-speed corners and the hairpin after the long straight. Entering the stadium is a very fast corner, and the following ‘Sachskurve’ is a tricky one. The last two corners before the finish line are also interesting, so I think that will be the most crucial part of the track.”

#18 Pastor Maldonado (LR #16)
Pastor knows well enough by now to set his expectations low: “There’s potential for it to be a tough weekend for us. The surface is very smooth, there are some slower corners with strong traction demands out of them as well as several straights where you need as much power as possible. Certainly, the latest engine I used at the Silverstone test feels to be much stronger so that will be a benefit.”

#19 Jules Bianchi (LR #19)
Jules is looking to show his team’s performances aren’t flukes: “The target is a little different for this weekend, but having made it into Q2 at Silverstone, we are hoping to show that we are even closer to Sauber, hopefully with another good qualifying. We had a positive test at Silverstone and I hope this will help us to have two strong races before we head into the summer break.”

#20 Kamui Kobayashi (LR #20)

#21 Max Chilton (LR #21)
For #M4X, it’s all about continuing to make progress as a driver and team. The Power Rankings says that there’s almost nowhere but up to progress: “It will be good to be back in the car again in Germany, where I hope we’ll see some of the benefit of a really good test at Silverstone last week… We demonstrated at the last race that we continue to make good progress, particularly in qualifying, so we’re hoping for more of the same this weekend.”

#22 Marcus Ericsson (LR #22)

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