17 things to know about the German GP

After Lewis Hamilton became the most successful driver in the history of the British Grand Prix, the Formula 1 circus heads to Hockenheim for this weekend’s German Grand Prix. Let’s take a closer look at the race:

German Grand Prix Facts

  1. Despite there being 75 editions of the race held since 1926, only three circuits have ever hosted the German Grand Prix, namely AVUS (which is now a public road), the Nurburgring and Hockenheim, where the German Grand Prix will be held this weekend. 
  2. German-born Rudolf Caracciola remains the most successful driver ever at the German Grand Prix, despite him racing in the interwar period. He won the race no less than six times. Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton are tied in second place with four wins each. Hamilton has a great chance of adding to his tally of German Grand Prix victories at Hockenheim this weekend.
  3. Ferrari is by far the most successful constructor in the history of the German Grand Prix, taking victory no less than 22 times between 1950 and the present day.
  4. The Hockenheimring was shortened from 6.823 kilometres in length to 4.574 kilometres back in 2002 after safety concerns and competition from other circuits. Sadly, the circuit lost its characteristic long straights, which saw car blasting through densely forested woodland, during the ensuing redesign.
  5. This weekend’s German Grand Prix will see Mercedes make their 200th grand prix start since they made their debut at the 1954 French Grand Prix.
  6. Between 2007 and 2014, the German Grand Prix was shared with the Nurburgring, alternating between the two venues annually. The grand prix was not held in 2015 or 2017, and this was due to the Nurburgring’s owners failing to reach an agreement with the sport’s promoter to keep hosting the race during odd-numbered years. Hockenheimring signed a last-minute deal to host the 2019 race, and that’s why the World Championship is heading there this weekend.

Ferrari is by far the most successful constructor in the history of the German Grand Prix, taking victory no less than 22 times between 1950 and the present day.

German Grand Prix Facts

  1. Just two German drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg, will line up on the grid at Hockenheim this weekend, down from five German drivers that competed in 2012.
  2. Scotsman Jim Clark, who is believed by many to be the most naturally-gifted driver ever to live, was killed in an accident at a Formula 2 race held at the Hockenheimring back in 1968.
  3. Nico Rosberg, who won the 2016 World Championship driving for Mercedes, became the first German driver to win the German Grand Prix in a German car in 75 years when he won the 2014 edition of the race.
  4. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who crashed out of the lead of last year’s race, lost his championship lead to Lewis Hamilton. He hasn’t led the World Championship at any point since then.
  5. Here’s a rather odd one for you: Father and son racers Keke and Nico Rosberg, who competed in the 1986 and 2016 editions of the race at Hockenheim, are the only two drivers to start it on pole position without either going on to finish on the podium or retiring from the race.

What To Look Out For

12. Mercedes will be running a one-off, commemorative livery at Hockenheim this weekend to mark 125 years since it first competed in motorsport.

13. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen will be running an updated spec car, whereas his team-mate Romain Grosjean will be running the specification that Haas started the season with. It’ll be interesting to see the performance difference between the two drivers, if any.

14. Mick Schumacher, son of the legendary seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, will drive his father’s Ferrari F2004 at Hockenheim this weekend. It was the car that took Schumacher senior to his seventh world title during the 2004 season. He and Rubens Barrichello won no less than 15 of the 20 races that season between them in addition to starting on pole position 12 times and setting 14 fastest laps.

15. Red Bull Racing broke the world record for the fastest pitstop in history at the last grand prix, changing four tyres in a scarcely believable 1.91 seconds. Can anyone match it, or perhaps do even better?

16. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen are at each other’s throats at the moment. Keep your eyes peeled for more wheel-banging action from the pair this weekend.

17. Hockenheim usually has three DRS (drag reduction system) zones, but a decision was taken this week to reduce it to just two. The DRS zone on the start/finish straight has been removed. The same thing happened at Silverstone two weeks ago.

Photo: TT