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German GP: Preview - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
22/07/2019

Hockenheim in Germany used to be known for its high speed and massive straights, but the cut-down version of the track inaugurated in 2002 is much more balanced, with a bit of everything. As a result, the middle tyres in the P Zero range have been nominated this weekend: C2 as the hard, C3 as the medium, and C4 as the soft. This is broadly equivalent to last year, when the 2018 medium, soft, and ultrasoft compounds were chosen.

There is no particular defining characteristic of Hockenheim, The lap is an interesting mix of corners and speeds, with some fast sections as well as the slower and more technical Motodrom stadium complex: a favourite for spectators.

There have been no significant changes to the track or asphalt this year, which is medium in terms of energy loading and abrasiveness. Track evolution over the course of the weekend is generally quite low.

Lateral and longitudinal demands are about equal over the course of the lap, which in theory means that it shouldn't be too hard to find the right set-up and get the tyres working optimally.

The rain made the strategy almost impossible to predict last year. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won with a one-stop strategy (the only driver in the top six to stop just once) going from soft to ultrasoft. There was also a safety car, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen finishing fourth despite stopping three times. Historically, the safety car probability is around 50%.

A new overall lap record was set last year by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in qualifying, but the fastest race lap record still dates back to 2004, courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen in a McLaren-Mercedes.

Of the top three teams, Red Bull's drivers are the only ones to make identical tyre choices: the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers have all picked something different, with Ferrari opting for the biggest quantity of soft tyres.

Mario Isola: "Hockenheim is not a track that the teams are historically completely familiar with; for many years it alternated with the Nurburgring, then it dropped off the calendar entirely, before returning last year. Nonetheless, there's nothing about the track that is particular surprise, with the demands and forces on the tyres being quite balanced. One exception is the Motodrom section, which is a bit more stop-and-go, while another thing to be aware of is the camber on Turn 12 and Turn 13. Wear and degradation is generally low, so in the past we have seen some quite long stints on the tyres. As we experienced last season though, the weather is hard to predict in Hockenheim at this time of year and this could certainly be one key element influencing strategy."

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1. Posted by matra123, 22/07/2019 18:10

"Hockenheim used to be interesting, what with its long straights which could be taken flat out. These straights were castrated or, as I like to call the general development of F1 over the last few years, they have been "Brusselised".
Hockenheim consists now of a mish-mash of bland corners on a bland, flat circuit. The German press likes to think of it as a high-speed track likeable to Spa or Monza. Give me a break. "

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