Lewis Hamilton now leads the championship and will be looking to continue his momentum as the teams take to the Hockenheimring for the German Grand Prix this weekend.
The current and now famous Hockenheim circuit was developed post-war but the German Grand Prix had for many years bounced between the Hockenheimring and Nurburgring following tragic incidents at both tracks.
The German Grand Prix holds an iconic place on the Formula 1 calendar but some of its aurora has eroded in recent times and the last race in Hockenheim during the 2014 season was attended by barely 50,000 spectators.
That aside, the races are typically intriguing and the fall-out from qualifying in Hungary will add spice as the Mercedes drivers of Hamilton and Rosberg both search for victory at their ‘home’ track.
What to expect at the Hockenheimring
The character of the Hockenheimring changed substantially in 2002 when designer Hermann Tilke re-profiled the track and shortened it from 4.2 miles to 2.8 miles. It’s long, flat-out straight through the dense pine forest was instead replaced with a more classic stadium circuit.
This perhaps makes it more challenging – at least for the engineers trying to find the perfect car setup.
The high speed straights end abruptly with low speed corners so the pit teams will be working hard during the practice sessions to find the best power unit and chassis arrangements for the race.
But overtaking isn’t easy at Hockenheim so most of the action will probably take place in the two Drag Reduction System zones on the approaches to Turns 2 and 6.
The importance of combining straight-line speed and a competitive chassis makes this a potential Mercedes shoot-out.
And both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will be desperate to claim the win and lead the championship over the summer break.
“Their battle shows no signs of dropping in intensity, and we can expect plenty of entertainment as the races and points count down,” said Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.
“Next, we have our home race in Hockenheim.”
“It’s no secret that this is a big weekend for us.”
No-one has won at the Hockenheimring from outside the top three on the grid since it was re-profiled so there will be plenty of pressure on both drivers to deliver during qualifying and start from pole.
Ferrari Looking to Bounce Back
Ferrari entered the season with high expectations to seriously challenge Mercedes.
But it hasn’t worked out that way and Ferrari are now sitting just a few points above Red Bull on the constructors table.
With rumours swirling of Maurizio Arrivabene’s future and the immediate departure this week of James Allison, their highly-respected Technical Director, the team will be hoping for a strong showing in Germany.
Fortunately, the Red Bull’s aren’t well suited to the high-powered straights at Hockenheim so this weekend will be a great opportunity for Ferrari to get back on the podium and boost team morale.
The race will start at 14:00 local time and will run over 67 laps.