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Wunderbar!

NEWS STORY
07/07/2013

Clearly riding on a nationalistic wave, the British media has been overdrive since yesterday’s qualifying session.

In the wake of the Lions victory over Australia and anticipating Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, the media is pumping up Lewis Hamilton’s pole position at the Nurburgring.

Make no mistake, it was a fantastic lap and he thoroughly deserves to start from the front, he even deserves sympathy for the tyre failure which snatched his lead at Silverstone, but let’s not carried away.

Other than the fact that pole isn’t as important here as it is at some tracks, let’s not overlook the fact that both Red Bulls are within 0.21s of the Mercedes. Indeed, let’s not forget that both Lotus are within 0.56s.

Finally, let’s not forget that but for a monumental mistake by Mercedes in terms of strategy Lewis would have been under intense pressure from his own teammate, Nico Rosberg.

While Mercedes has clearly taken a significant step forward and we should necessarily expect Hamilton to drop back down through the field today as his tyres deteriorate, one still gets the feeling that the German team isn’t quite there yet… certainly not in terms of titles as some sections of the media continue to claim.

As for Nico, we’d be surprised if he doesn’t start on the prime today, a strategy that could go some way to making up for the disastrous strategy call on Saturday. In other words don’t write off young Rosberg.

Red Bull has been strong all weekend and Sebastian Vettel, who has yet to win in front of his home fans is clearly motivated, not least by the failure that robbed him of almost certain victory a week ago. That said, teammate Mark Webber, a proven winner here, has looked good all weekend and if he were only to claim one win this season where better than in Seb’s backyard.

While the modifications to Pirelli’s tyres appear to have impacted some teams more than others, Lotus is looking strong here and the warmer temperature will only add to the Enstone outfit’s confidence. Kimi Raikkonen is looking as strong as ever, while Romain Grosjean looks to be enjoying one of his ‘sensible’ weekends.

For the second successive race, Daniel Ricciardo starts from sixth on the grid, unlike last week however he hasn’t benefitted from the exclusion of another driver. While Toro Rosso admits that in trying “different directions on both cars” it failed Jean-Eric Vergne and therefore the Frenchman should perform better today, the fact is that Ricciardo is clearly on a roll. A strong steady drive should see a further handful of points and a another step towards Webber’s vacant seat.

Ferrari continues to hurt and one wonders at what point the Maranello outfit will follow McLaren’s example and switch focus to 2014. That said, despite, or maybe due to, being out-qualified by Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso is sure to give 100% today and the wily old Spanish fox rarely walks away from the table empty handed… just look at last week.

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