The key strategic moment of the German Grand Prix was the decision by both The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team and Red Bull Racing to split their strategies at the first pit stops. Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton went on to the soft tires while Max Verstappen and Nico Rosberg put on the supersofts. The supersofts struggled with the higher fuel loads, leaving Hamilton and Ricciardo on the better tires as most teams switched from two to three-stop strategies.
Will Toro Rosso challenge?
What is Scuderia Toro Rosso’s winning strategy in Germany?
As we enter the second half of the season, Toro Rosso has been overtaken on pace by McLaren Honda and is now just seven points ahead in the Constructors’ Championship. Hockenheim is another power circuit, which should give them the edge over McLaren and a chance to progress in the Championship. Much like Budapest, this should be a two-stop race with supersoft-soft-soft the likely tire strategy. With Carlos Sainz in strong form in both qualifying and race trim, a top 10 finish should be the target.
Disappointment for Toro Rosso
How did they perform in Germany?
On Thursday we previewed Scuderia Toro Rosso’s chances for the German Grand Prix, as they battle to stay ahead of McLaren Honda in the Constructors’ Championship. Unfortunately their race didn't go to plan with their cars finishing 14th and 15th respectively. Qualifying was the problem, as Daniil Kvyat was 18th on the grid and Carlos Sainz demoted to 15th due to a penalty for blocking. This made progress hard on their three-stop strategies with Sainz losing track position during his last pit stop to the two-stopping Haas F1 Team cars.
Race Strategy Briefing
A great racing track
With 17 corners, this track generates plenty of action, while the long straight rewards a powerful engine and offers overtaking opportunities.
The supersoft will be the qualifying tire, as it is around 1 second per lap faster than the soft, but the soft will be the better option. The medium will not be competitive.
A power circuit
The long straight combined with the punch from the hybrid power units means that both the entry and the exit of the hairpin will be popular overtaking spots.
Chances to overtake
There were over 40 overtakes the last time F1 raced here. There are two good overtaking places on this track, the main one being the hairpin.
All about the straight
Two years ago the top speed was 345km/h, but with increased hybrid turbo engine power it should be well over 350km/h this year.
July 31 | 14:00 local time, 14:00 CET
Hockenheim alternates with the Nürburgring as the host of the German Grand Prix, although financial problems last year resulted in the cancellation of the Nürburgring event. The circuit opened in 1929 but the original high speed track, with long straights and chicanes, somewhat similar to Monza, was cut down in 2002 to the current format. Although overtaking is possible - there were over 40 overtakes in the last event in 2014 - the race tends to be won by a driver starting on the front row of the grid. Fernando Alonso's win from third on the grid in 2005, was the only exception since the new layout was adopted. Alonso is a three-time race winner at this track, including the controversial 2010 victory where his Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa was given a coded message to let Alonso through for the victory. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have also claimed victory at this track. Of the current field Kimi Räikkönen has never won at Hockenheim, despite starting twice on pole position. Sebastian Vettel has also never won at this track, despite growing up only a few kilometres away in Heppenheim. Hockenheim will be the fourth race in the month of July 2016, a gruelling schedule for the teams.
Circuit length 4.574 km
Race distance 306.458 km
Race winner N/A
Pirelli allocation Supersoft/Soft/Medium
Hockenheim is a good racing circuit, somewhat similar in character to Austria, with medium-speed corners and a long straight. With 17 corners in total, this track generates plenty of action, while the long straight rewards a powerful engine and offers overtaking opportunities. In terms of throttle usage, Hockenheim is classified as average for the season, with the drivers hitting full throttle 58% of each lap, however with the punch of acceleration from the hybrid units, the exit of the hairpin becomes a prime overtaking spot. Tire wear is not particularly severe and with the combination of tire compounds on offer, a supersoft-soft-soft strategy could be competitive. The front left tire is a restricting factor, due to the higher energy corners being right handers.
In collaboration with James Allen