Monday, 16 july 2018, 03:00 , by Matthew Scott
The recriminations of the British Grand Prix have rumbled on long, but the German Grand Prix finally gives Mercedes the chance to respond on-track after Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel cemented their championship leads at Silverstone. Vettel does not hold a dominant home record, potentially opening the door for Lewis Hamilton to begin his fightback.
WHEN IS THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX?
The German Grand Prix will be held on Sunday July 22 at the Hockenheimring in Hockenheim, Germany. The race will start at 15:10 local time (14:10 BST, 09:10 ET).
On-track action begins with Friday's first practice session at 11:00 local time (10:00 BST, 05:00 ET), with the second session starting at 15:00 local time (14:00 BST, 09:00 ET)
Saturday's qualifying session starts at 15:00 local time (14:00 BST, 09:00 ET), following on from the third practice session, which starts at 12:00 local time (11:00 BST, 06:00 ET).
WHO LEADS THE F1 STANDINGS?
Vettel is eight points clear of Hamilton in the drivers' standings after his victory at Silverstone. It could have been worse for the Briton, after his first-lap tangle with Kimi Raikkonen left him at the back of the pack. Hamilton recovered to second place, with Raikkonen finishing third. Vettel has 171 points, with Hamilton on 163. Raikkonen leads the remaining 'big three' drivers with 116 points, but Daniel Ricciardo (106), Valtteri Bottas (104) and Max Verstappen (93) are all in close quarters.
First and third in Britain helped Ferrari (287) double their constructors' championship lead over Mercedes (267) to 20 points. Red Bull have 199 points in third, but the big mover in Britain was McLaren, albeit downwards. Early in the year, impressive points hauls had them fourth, but they have since sunk to seventh, behind Renault, Haas and now Force India.
WHO WON THE LAST GERMAN GRAND PRIX?
Amid the event's uncertain future, we have not visited Germany since a trip to Hockenheim in 2016. Hamilton was victorious on that day with Nico Rosberg as his main rival - how he will want to beat the big home hope this time around. Rosberg had qualified on pole, but a dreadful start allowed Hamilton, as well as the Red Bulls of Ricciardo and Verstappen through. That was about as good as the race got, hopefully the more intense nature of the 2018 campaign will give way to more action.
WHO HAS MOST WINS AT THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX?
Michael Schumacher, naturally, has more German Grand Prix wins than any other world championship driver. His four victories all came at the Hockenheimring and helped Ferrari take a mightily impressive 21 wins in this event to date. Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have three wins apiece in a clutch of drivers just shy of Schumacher which includes Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Jackie Stewart and Juan Manuel Fangio. Vettel is the only other current driver to have won in Germany, doing so with Red Bull in 2013. Raikkonen has an oddly poor record in this event, taking part 12 times, securing three podiums but suffering six DNFs.
WHAT IS THE LAP RECORD AT HOCKENHEIM?
Schumacher holds the outright record, having clocked one minute 13.306 seconds in qualifying in 2004. Rosberg's pole time of 1:14.363 in 2016 suggests the current-spec cars may be around Schumacher's benchmark. Raikkonen's official record of 1:13.780, set in 2004's race is unlikely to be troubled.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX?
Sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-twenties Celsius are anticipated throughout the race weekend. A mild threat of showers on Sunday will keep some teams interested. Friday is set to be considerably hotter than Saturday or Sunday, which could cause teams trouble as they search for the perfect set-up.
WHICH PIRELLI TYRES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX?
Pirelli will bring the medium, soft and ultrasoft tyres to Hockenheim, skipping the supersoft compound.